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CPD | Law

Criminal Law

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The Recommendations of the Gillen Review require advocates in criminal proceedings to act appropriately when dealing with vulnerability. 

Difficulties arise first from the failure to recognise vulnerability and, secondly, to understand the barriers to communication caused by vulnerability ranging from age, background to physical or mental health or other developmental issues. Thirdly, advocates need to comply with the Protocols for Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants. 

Duration6 weeks
Start date7 Oct 2024

This short course is designed to ensure that those working in the criminal justice system gain an understanding of vulnerability and the treatment of vulnerable persons, whether witness or defendant, when questioning them. Attendees will benefit from a number of short lectures and participate in workshops which will deepen their understanding and enhance their skills, thus ensuring best practice when dealing with the vulnerable in a criminal setting.


Standard Fee£300

Entry Requirements

The course will appeal to solicitors and barristers in practice who work in the criminal courts and who wish to understand how to achieve best practice when dealing with cases which involve vulnerable witnesses and/or defendants.

The Programme

  • Course Content


    • Recognising and Understanding Vulnerability
    • Barriers to Communication
    • Judicial Perspective on dealing with Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants
    • Practitioner Perspective on dealing with Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants
    • The Role of the Registered Intermediary
    • Registered Intermediary Reports and how to deal with them
    • Protocol on Vulnerable Witnesses and how to comply
    • Ground Rules Hearings - Preparation and Advocacy Workshops
    • Witness Handling – Cross-examination Workshops – playing within the rules
    • Case Law Update
  • Delivery

    6 weeks, 6-8pm

Spaces available

How to apply

If you have any queries in relation to this course or would like to register your interest please e-mail

Contact Claire Armstrong