Children’s champions/witness intermediaries

[7-250] Article

Professor P Cooper, “Children’s champions/witness intermediaries”.

This presentation was given on 17 and 26 February 2016 as part of the District Court of NSW Seminar Series.


The presentation provides information regarding the role of witness intermediaries, in preparation for the commencement of the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot in the District Court of NSW on 4 April 2016. Topics covered in the presentation include:

  • the role of the witness intermediary

  • lessons learnt from the English and Northern Irish intermediary schemes

  • training assessment and recommendations

  • pre-trial case management

  • the new witness/intermediary cross-examination dynamic

  • case law

  • further reading.

The pilot scheme will operate for three years in the District Court. The Criminal Procedure Amendment (Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot) Act 2015 (commenced on assent on 5 November 2015) amends the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (cl 88–90) to give effect to the pilot scheme including provision for children’s champions or witness intermediaries and the pre-recording of evidence of child witnesses (cl 84–87). The amendments are found in Sch 2, Pt 29 Criminal Procedure Act.


[Please find a link to “The Advocate’s Gateway“ toolkit referred to in slide 7 of Professor Cooper’s presentation.]


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