Forensic interviewing of children in Brazil: judges' perceptions after five years of law reform

Mayra Dos Santos Zavattaro*, Rebecca Milne, Ray Bull, Lilian Milnitsky Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Brazil underwent legislative reform seven years ago when law 13.431 came into force. This legislation requires a trained professional to interview children (in a safe environment) who are possible victims or witnesses of violence. This paper aims i) to identify judges’ views on the new requirements of the legislation and its implementation and ii) to make recommendations to further enhance the quality of forensic interviewing with children in Brazil. In doing so, this article sought the perspectives of judges, the final decision-makers, who have rarely been the focus of research. In March 2022, five years after the reform, sixteen face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with State Judges across Brazil. Overall, three main concerns of judges were identified: (1) a lack of trained forensic interviewers; (2) a limited infrastructure of Courts to apply the procedure stated in the legislation; and (3) a minimal interest of legal practitioners in practices relating to forensic interviewing. The findings point to where public investments should be made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevista Brasileira de Ciências Criminais
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 26 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Forensic interviewing
  • Training
  • Brazil’s Law Reform
  • Children
  • Judges

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