Child suggestibility in the Namibian legal justice system. select="/dri:document/dri:meta/dri:pageMeta/dri:metadata[@element='title']/node()"/>

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dc.contributor.author Mudzanapabwe, Joab T.
dc.date.accessioned 2014-05-22T10:38:55Z
dc.date.available 2014-05-22T10:38:55Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.other thesis
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11070/924
dc.description A dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study explored whether Namibian legal and allied criminal justice professionals involved in child sexual abuse investigations were cognizant of child suggestibility and whether the concept child suggestibility was duly weighted during investigations and court proceedings. The legal practitioners were defined as prosecutors, magistrates and private defense lawyers. It was hypothesized that the Namibian legal and allied criminal justice professionals involved in child sexual abuse investigations were significantly uninformed about child suggestibility and that the concept child suggestibility was not duly weighted during investigations and court proceedings. The study followed a mixed method approach of both quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative approach was done through constructing a semi-structured questionnaire, which assessed the legal and allied criminal justice professionals‟ knowledge/sensitivity levels of suggestibility. The qualitative part of the study reviewed five forensic interviews (cases), and the assessment of six police dockets with two different scoring checklists. The semi-structured questionnaire was administered to fifty eight (N=58) legal and allied criminal justice professionals composed of three social workers, ten police officers, 16 prosecutors, 10 magistrates and 19 defence lawyers. The questionnaire was comprised of 36 items with sub-themes assessing suggestibility, such as source monitoring, theory of mind, and leading questions. The questionnaire was mainly scored as either “sensitive”, “non sensitive”, or “uncertain” to suggestibility. The checklist for assessing suggestibility in dockets was comprised of 81 items with a response format of “sensitive”, “non sensitive” and “unclear”. The checklist for assessing suggestibility in case reviews comprised of items that the researcher endorsed whenever a given suggestive questioning style occurred and when the child “yielded” and “shifted” to suggestive questioning. It transpired that on average the legal and allied criminal justice practitioners had limited knowledge or sensitivity to suggestibility. On a number of themes such as theory of mind, conative effect, and source monitoring, the participants showed less than 50% level of sensitivity. Significant inter-group differences pertaining to sensitivity to child suggestibility were also found. The checklist for assessing the dockets showed well below 50% sensitivity to suggestibility. The checklist for assessing suggestibility for case reviews showed that the forensic interviews were filled with suggestive questions and in more than three court cases the children “yielded” and “shifted” more than once. The study hence supported the hypothesis that legal and allied criminal justice practitioners were significantly uninformed about child suggestibility and that the concept child suggestibility was not duly weighted during investigations and court proceedings. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Child suggestibility en_US
dc.title Child suggestibility in the Namibian legal justice system. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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