Sourcing of intermediaries for court attendance
Settlement of case or court attendance
“A Communication Intermediary (CI) assists victims, witnesses and accused people who have speech and language disabilities to understand questions and to communicate answers effectively when communicating with police, legal or justice professionals.”
(Reference Communication Disabilities Access Canada)
Currently in Ireland there are no official mechanisms for accessing intermediaries, and yet there are many people with communication difficulties who are unable to represent themselves independently and effectively within the court system, even though they have the capacity to do so.
A person with a communication problem, such as an acquired brain injury, can struggle with understanding and speaking in many situations, and this is likely to be more acute in the stressful context of legal proceedings. Therefore, it is important that they can access an intermediary if this is required.
In my expert reports, I recommend access to an intermediary for clients when I feel this is appropriate. This is particularly important in instances where a person has a lack of social supports, or if there is conflict within their close relationships.
If requested, I can then follow up on sourcing a speech and language therapist who could act as an intermediary.
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Expert Witness Services
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