Vulnerable Witnesses and Defendants: The Use of a Communication Assistant (live stream)

Live Stream 2 CPD Hrs
Thu 15 February | 4:00PM - 6:15PM | Auckland CBD venue to be confirmed


The use of a communication assistant (CA) is a new and fast-growing feature of the New Zealand justice system. While guided by international practices, there is a need to understand the issues and processes for engaging a CA within our own context. This seminar will define relevant terminology; provide guidance for identifying communication vulnerability (and who might need communication assistance); and offer practical suggestions for meeting the needs of a vulnerable witness or defendant. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn more about how to identify communication vulnerability.
  • Develop a greater understanding of current legislation for the use of communication assistance, the lawyer’s responsibilities, and steps that can be taken when engaging a communication assistant.
  • Learn about strategies and “special measures” that Courts have adopted to meet the needs of vulnerable witnesses and defendants.
  • Gain insights into current research being undertaken in New Zealand and the opportunity to participate in this. 

Who should attend?

Criminal lawyers including for defence and prosecution. Others with an interest in identifying communication vulnerability may also benefit from attending.

Live stream registration only

Please note this page is only for registration to attend via live stream.

To register to attend in person click here


Clare McCann
SLT and Communication Assistant
The University of Auckland

Michelle Bonetti
SLT and Communication Assistant Moretalk

David Niven, Barrister


His Honour Judge Russell Collins