Interrogation of minor and juvenile witnesses in criminal proceedings: Current state and prospects for improvement

The relevance of the study is determined by the need to improve the procedure for obtaining information provided by minors and juvenile witnesses during interrogation regarding the circumstances known to them in criminal proceedings at the litigation stage, while ensuring the best respect for the children's interests. The authors employed philosophical, general scientific, and special scientific methods of cognition, which allowed conducting a detailed analysis of the procedure for interrogating minor and juvenile witnesses at the litigation stage. To develop scientific proposals for improving the legislative regulation of the interrogation of minor and juvenile witnesses during the litigation, the study defined the principles of child-friendly justice that must be observed during this procedural action, as well as the guarantees stipulated by the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine and aimed at implementing international standards for ensuring the rights of minors in criminal proceedings. The authors of this study state that the legislative definition of requirements imposed separately on the teacher, psychologist, and doctor involved in the interrogation of minor or juvenile witnesses, as well as the procedure for involving such persons by the court and the pre-trial investigation body, would considerably improve the quality of the required aid to minor witnesses and would meet international standards. The study analyses the international practices concerning the introduction of the institution of representation in the litigation of pre-recorded testimony of minors and juvenile witnesses. The authors established that the introduction of such an institution is absolutely justified and will have an exceptionally positive effect both for minor and juvenile witnesses, as well as for the process of proof, and can be implemented in Ukrainian legislation. Scientific proposals have been developed to improve the legislative regulation of the interrogation of minor and juvenile witnesses during court proceedings

Doi: 10.37635/jnalsu.28(3).2021.268-276