A national training programme for advocates dealing with vulnerable witnesses.

Developed by members of a working group headed by HHJ Rook QC in response to the Government’s September 2014 paper, Our Commitment to Victims. Recognising and dealing appropriately with vulnerability is a skill that can be taught. There is a wide spectrum of vulnerabilities from age and background to physical or mental health and other developmental issues. This course has been designed to ensure that all advocates, when dealing with vulnerable witnesses, understand the key principles behind the approach to and questioning of vulnerable people in the justice system.

Training materials have been prepared by the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) and training is being delivered by the Inns and Circuits. Sessions will be led by barristers and judges who have been trained to facilitate the sessions. It is anticipated that Advocacy and the Vulnerable training will become mandatory for any advocate wishing to undertake publicly funded work in serious sexual offence cases involving vulnerable witnesses.

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