Exploring the Influence of Courtroom Questioning and Pre-Trial Preparation on Eyewitness Accuracy
- Start date: 1 June 2009
- End date: 31 May 2010
- Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Primary investigator: Professor Louise Ellison
- Co-investigators: Dr Jacqueline Wheatcroft, University of Liverpool
In England and Wales, there is evidence that increasing numbers of 'professional' witnesses (e.g. experts, police officers) are attending witness-training courses to prepare them for the process of testifying in legal proceedings.
They key aims of these witness training programmes is to identify standard tactics used by lawyers in the course of cross-examination and to provide witnesses with practical advice on how best to approach the interaction.
Exponents of witness training maintain that pre-trial preparation has a beneficial impact on the ability of inexperienced witnesses to monitor comprehension of lawyers' questions and provide accurate testimony.
In a context in which there is limited empirical evidence of the impact of witness preparation, this research project sets out to investigate whether specified witness preparation techniques have a positive impact on adult witness accuracy.