Interviewing witnesses with learning disabilities for legal purposes: a review

Becky Milne, Ray Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present paper gives an overview of the research literature examining how best to obtain the maximum quality and quantity of information from people with learning disabilities (LDs) in a non-biasing manner. First, the authors outline the research concerning the memory performance of people with LDs and then they go on to describe the specific strategies which have been recommended for use with this group. The relative merits of different types of questions are examined. It is argued that the main difficulty in interviewing people with LDs concerns errors of omission and that research should find ways to enhance recall, especially since detail is the currency of both the criminal and civil justice systems. One such method that has been found to gain greater recall is the cognitive interview. The paper finishes by briefly describing this technique and its efficacy for use with vulnerable groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2001


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