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Expert commentary on key aspects which arise in the family courts
 … The existing law erects a presumption against a child giving evidence which requires to be rebutted by anyone seeking to put questions to the child. That cannot be reconciled with the approach of the ECtHR, which always aims to strike a fair balance between competing Convention rights. Article 6 requires that the proceedings overall be fair and this normally entails an opportunity to challenge the evidence presented by the other side. But even in criminal proceedings account must be taken of the article 8 rights of the perceived victim: see SN vThe court must balance on the one hand ‘determination of the truth’ as against ‘the damage it may do to the welfare of this or any other child [if their evidence has to be given to the court]. A fair trial is a trial which is fair in the light of the issues which have to be decided’ (para ).
(App No 34209/96), 2 July 2002, BAILII:  ECHR 551. Striking that balance in care proceedings may well mean that the child should not be called to give evidence in the great majority of cases, but that is a result and not a presumption or even a starting point. Sweden
 … envisaged that she may actually proceed to put questions to G. The parties were directed to agree and provide to the Adviser "a list of proposed questions … that they would seek to be put to G". The officer was then to meet G in a neutral venue and it was:The court said that it wanted the ‘adviser’s’ report to cover:
…left to the Adviser's professional judgment as how to conduct the interviews and whether or not the questions should or should not be put to G and if so the format and formulation of the questions or any additional questions the Adviser feels appropriate to the issues in Re W but the Court's provisional expectation would be that none of the questions proposed by the parties should be put on the first occasion or until the Adviser feels appropriate.