The Importance Of Child Witnessing In Court

1922 Words 8 Pages
Throughout the history, children testifying in court has always been a debatable question. Canadian legal system viewed children as inherently unreliable and made little effort to accommodate them. Justice system’s view on child witness has been changed dramatically over the years. Since early 20th century, researchers have found that children are easy to lead by the suggestive questioning and difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy (Whipple, 1911). Eyewitness is often connected with a person’s level of emotional arousal, which children may have trouble control and adjust their emotion.(Heuer and Reisbery, 1990). Although, many researchers started to research on children’s abilities regarding eyewitnesses, and techniques for interviewing …show more content…
The central concern has been the question of whether children’s cognitive ability is capable of testifying in the courtroom (Pezdek and Roe, 1997). Children’s credibility is often questioned due to their competency. A child witness’s competency is his or her ability to give reliable testimony. Due to children’s underdeveloped cognitive ability and overall biological physiological, children have difficulties understand the situation and consequence, recall the event, provide important details, and resist the social …show more content…
Children are easily being suggestibility because they want to give interviewers the answers they want (Bruck & Ceci, 1993). Social compliance happened when children respond to suggestive influence because they trust and want to make the adult interviewers satisfied. Sometimes, they do not even understand or have the answer for the question, still they may respond the adult with an answer. Ceci, Ross and Toglia (1987) did an experiment addressing the issue of whether children are vulnerable to suggestive or “leading” questions. Young children between 3 to 12 years old were asked misleading postevent information about the story, and researchers concluded children were easily mislead, especially three and four years old . However, researchers also found that children’s susceptibility reduced when another children provide the misleading information or ask the misleading questions. Moreover, those misleading information and suggestion can distort children’s memory. Due to the above research, children not only are highly suggestibility, but also need extra care and protection when they are being interviewing or testifying. In a study by Pezdek and Roe (1997), they examine the reliability of 4-years old and 10-years old by either were touched in a specifically way or were not touched at all, and it was later suggested that a different touch. Pezdek and Roe

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