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The United Nations’ Agenda for Sustainable Development 2015 advocates equal access to justice for all. In recognition of this, a number of countries have introduced a new professional role; a registered intermediary in England, Wales and NI. The registered intermediary supports effective communication during legal proceedings by enabling the person to understand information and make informed decisions. Many of these roles are filled by speech and language therapists or psychologists. Intermediaries are generally positively received, though inevitably there remain challenges. Many other countries, such as New Zealand and Republic of Ireland, have modelled the introduction of intermediaries based on the model employed in England and Wales. This new role is not without its challenges, including problems with acceptance amongst other key stakeholders. This article outlines the successes and challenges common to Ireland, Northern Ireland and New Zealand, and advocates for meaningful involvement of intermediaries throughout the justice system.

Intermediaries in the justice system for people with communication disability: Enacting Sustainable Development Goal 16 in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and New Zealand.
Kearns A, Clarke D, Cusack A, et al.
2022;Online ahead of print:1-6.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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