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Title: Evaluation of children's testimonies in the Republic of Cyprus : implications for criminal and legal procedures
Author: Kyriakidou, Marilena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 7338
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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Objectives: The primary aim of the thesis was to examine the procedures of the police criminal investigation unit in Cyprus Republic and the legal procedures related to children's testimonies. Method: First, a study evaluated the actual practices used by Cyprus Republic police officers when interviewing children. Second, three surveys examined police officers', judges' and lawyers' perceptions of videotaped testimonies with children and the treatment of children in courts. Third, two experimental studies investigated how children's recall was influenced by keeping their eyes closed during interviews. Results: The first study indicated that only one third of the interviews by police officers included all of the phases prescribed in interviewing protocols. Nearly all of the questions used were focused questions and that two-thirds of all the potential evidence enclosed in children's transcripts came from focused questions. The analysis also provided evidence of problematic interviewers' behaviours and distortions of children's words. The second study showed a general view that videotaping children's testimonies was a positive development in Cyprus Republic but all the professionals interviewed were aware of problematic areas that required attention. They were also evidence that some children may be mistreated during cross-examination. The last two experimental studies provided contradictory evidence on how children's eye conditions could affect their accounts. The first experimental study showed that closing eyes improved children's accuracy when being questioned about an event they had experienced. However the second experimental study failed to show any beneficial effect for keeping eyes closed. Conclusions: The quality of children's testimonies elicited by the police in Cyprus Republic replicates previous problematic outcomes from similar studies conducted in other countries. Police officers', judges' and lawyers' beliefs and behaviors about children's testimonies and towards children added important information on how legal procedures can be improved further in Cyprus Republic. The results of the two experimental studies raised issues for further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available