Intermediaries are skilled professionals who work within the Criminal Justice System.
A Registered Intermediary (RI) facilitates communication between awitness/suspect and: –
- The Police
- Prosecution and Defence Teams
- The Court
This ensures that the communication process is as complete coherent and accurate as possible. The Intermediary is impartial and neutral and ultimately his/her duties to the court are paramount. The Intermediary is allowed to explain the questions or answers so far as is necessary to enable them to be understood by the witness or the questioner but without changing the substance of the evidence. Registered Intermediaries are not investigators and their role is not the same as appropriate adults, witness supporters or expert witnesses.
Who can have a Registered Intermediary?
In criminal proceedings, vulnerable witnesses may apply for a range of ‘special measures’ including examination through an intermediary. The definition of a vulnerable witness (section 16 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999) covers: witnesses who are under the age of 17, and those who suffer from a mental disorder or significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning or have a physical disorder or condition that is likely to affect their evidence.