Caribbean International Training

"Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants in the Justice System"


The purpose of this training is for delegates to learn to deal with different types of vulnerable witnesses and how to appropriately and fairly handle vulnerable witnesses and defendants within the criminal justice process.

Most Caribbean islands either have enacted or are in the process of enacting legislation which relates to the handling of vulnerable witnesses and the special measures that can be employed for them. In addition, case management powers and rules are being brought in which give Judges the ability to make directions about the handling of vulnerable witnesses and defendants which will be binding on the advocates.

Intermediary Reports are not yet in use in the Caribbean but are being increasingly used in the UK.  We predict that these reports will eventually be in use in the Caribbean and therefore this exercise includes training on using Intermediary Reports. PLEASE NOTE HOWEVER THAT INTERMEDIARIES SHOULD ONLY BE USED WHEN THEY ARE QUALIFIED, ACCREDITED AND APPROPRIATELY TRAINED.

The course comprises pre course work to be undertaken online – watching several videos and podcasts, conducting a case analysis of the specially designed case study which contains several witnesses with different types of vulnerability, and preparing to question these witnesses.  There follows two days of face-to-face training.  Day 1 comprises case analysis and sessions on the preparation of questioning and the Ground Rules Hearing.  Day 2 is advocacy training where delegates will examine-in-chief and cross-examine the various vulnerable witnesses and the defendant.

Delegates should listen to the following podcasts and watch the following films before tackling the materials which contain the case study. These materials are a combination of some of the ICCA’s established A&V course and some bespoke materials created especially for this training course.

The online aspect of the course will take you 2 full days to prepare.

Good luck with your course.


20 Principles of Questioning

How to draft VW questions

VW Case Study R v Darnel Holder

VW Training Course Timetable

VW Training Intro to Training and Pre Course Prep Instructions


Dr Eileen Vizard: Vulnerable People with Special Educational Needs


Brendan O’Mahony: Cross-examination of Vulnerable People


Rosina Cottage QC: Best practice when prosecuting vulnerable cases


Sue Thurman: Assisting witnesses with communication difficulties 

Development of the Law

Professor John Spencer

Ground Rules and Section 28 Hearings

HHJ Sally Cahill QC

Children and the Court

Professor Michael Lamb

The Principles of Questioning

HHJ Sally Cahill QC

A Question of Practice