Special measures for witnesses in the criminal justice system: from England and Wales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Alshammari, Tareq (2016) Special measures for witnesses in the criminal justice system: from England and Wales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Without witnesses there can be no effective criminal justice system. Yet despite this clear fact, many obstacles have stood in the way of these witnesses and of achieving the best evidence they can provide, particularly with vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. In recent decades, some jurisdictions have taken legislative and regulatory steps to lower or remove these barriers, but in other countries little or nothing has been done. This thesis examines one example of the former proactive jurisdictions (England & Wales), and one jurisdiction that has yet to take any significant steps towards protecting or helping witnesses (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
The principal theme of my argument relates to how Saudi courts can learn from the experiences of courts in England and Wales in terms of protecting witnesses and, specifically, (i) whether there exist fundamental justifications for the implementation of special measures for witnesses from English law into Saudi courts, and (ii) whether the Saudi government can transplant the special measures for witnesses seen in English laws in order to influence further developments in Saudi law. In determining whether such justifications exist, the thesis will seek to identify the obstacles that prevent witnesses from testifying in criminal cases in Saudi Arabia, including the testimony of women and children, and will therein attempt to find in English law a cure for these problems.
In pursuance of these key research questions, the thesis will: (1) examine the special measures available for witnesses in the courts of English and Wales, (2) outline the particular challenges that witnesses face during adversarial criminal proceedings in Saudi courts, and (3) try to determine whether Saudi courts can benefit from the implementation of special measures for witnesses. The thesis concludes by arguing that the maslaha principle is a legitimate and appropriate means through which to consider the transfer of special measures for the protection of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in Saudi law. With regard to the possibility of transferring specific special measures from England and Wales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I also propose a set of scholarly criteria which could be used for the systematic evaluation of the appropriateness of this transfer.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 11:27
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/60653


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