oa Crime Research in South Africa - An inquisitorial approach to the evidence of children

Volume 4, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1605-5810



Traditional accusatorial courtroom procedures act against eliciting complete evidence from children. This has been highlighted in a number of studies which were conducted to investigate the effect on children of testifying in court. Hill and Hill (1987:814-5) conducted an experiment on the effect which the courtroom has on children's ability to recall. A group of children were allowed to view the videotape of an incident. The following day the children were interviewed about the contents of the videotape. Half of the children were interviewed in a courtroom and the other half in a private room. The results clearly indicated that the children who were interviewed in the private room related more central items in free recall, answered specific questions more often and said "I don't know' or gave no answer significantly less often than the children questioned in the courtroom.

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