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Intermediaries for Child Witnesses: Old Problems, New Solutions and Judicial Differences in South Africa

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South Africa has utilised intermediaries to protect child witnesses and assist their communication in criminal proceedings in the magistrates' courts since 1993. is article examines some lessons to be learned from the South African experience. It provides an overview and assessment of attempts to overcome implementation problems and develop the legislation providing for intermediaries. It reviews contradictory solutions for improvement of the law recently put forward by the high court and constitutional court. Applying both the South African history and international standards, we argue that the high court offered a better way forward. We suggest some additional reforms which may also be relevant for advocates of the intermediary system in other jurisdictions.

Affiliations: 1: School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal; 2: Faculty of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal


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