What happens in court? The development of understanding of the legal system in a sample of Irish children and adults

Catherine Maunsell, Howard Smith, Clifford Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A total sample of three hundred and sixty (N=360) Irish children and adults, drawn from nine age groups, were administered the specially designed Legal Knowledge and Perception of Court Interview Schedule. Analyses of variance revealed a main effect for age of participant. Participants demonstrated increasing knowledge of the legal system with increasing age. The findings of the present study suggest inter alia that Irish children, particularly those under nine years of age, do not possess sufficient understanding of the legal system to enable them to participate as effectively as they might as witnesses. The potential for developing a systematic programme of preparing child witnesses for their involvement in the legal process is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages11
JournalIrish Journal of Psychology
Volume21
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000

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