Intermediaries are skilled professionals who work within the Criminal Justice System.
We work with witnesses or defendants who are deemed to be vulnerable by virtue of a mental disorder or a significant impairment of intelligence or social functioning, such as:
- Acquired Brain Injury
- Progressive neurological conditions
- Learning Disability
- Psychiatric Illness
Access to an Intermediary differs according to whether the vulnerable person is a witness or a defendant, at and Active Case Management we are able to offer both services.
Intermediaries for Vulnerable Defendants
Active Case Management Ltd can provide skilled and experienced Intermediaries to work with vulnerable defendants.
All Intermediaries provided by Active Case Management have been trained by the Ministry of Justice and are registered to work as Registered Intermediaries with vulnerable witnesses. The term ‘Registered Intermediary’ is not used with vulnerable defendants, where the term ‘Intermediary’ is used.
The legal framework around Intermediaries working with vulnerable defendants differs from that for vulnerable witnesses. Special Measures for defendants are included in the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (section 102) however until that section is commenced we can look to legal precedent set within UK courts.
An Intermediary will facilitate effective communication with a vulnerable person, in doing so maximising their chances of understanding questions asked of them at court as well as court processes.
If you wish to discuss a particular case or learn more about the legal precedent please get in touch – the following articles may also be of interest:
- In March 2012 case was heard at the Court of Appeal relating to a man who had been convicted of a criminal offence. The man was recognised to be a vulnerable adult yet he did not have an Intermediary at his trial and he later argued that the trial had been unfair. To open the article click here (or right-click to download).
- June 2012 saw the publication of Fair Access to Justice? from The Prison Reform Trust. This briefing paper makes reference to the use of Intermediaries with vulnerable defendants. To open the article click here (or right-click to download).
Registered Intermediaries for Vulnerable Witnesses
A vulnerable person who has been the victim of a crime or who has witnessed a crime may be able to have support from a Registered Intermediary. This is one of the ‘Special Measures’ made available to vulnerable witnesses under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.
The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service can make a referral for a Registered Intermediary by calling the Witness Intermediary Team on 0845 000 5463.
Louise Sheffield qualified as a Registered Intermediary in 2004 and has since supported many vulnerable individuals in giving evidence to the Police and at Court. She has maintained her registration with the Ministry of Justice.