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Monday 20th of August 2018

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New law concerning video interviews for child crime victims in Chile

Wednesday 17th of January 2018
Juvenile Justice in the world

On 9th January, the enactment ceremony for the new law which establishes the System of Video Interviews for children and young people who are victims of serious crime was carried out in Chile. This law seeks to avoid a double victimisation of children during the penal process, as declared by the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet.  


The law would apply to cases of serious crime, such as homicide or sexual abuse. It would apply both in the investigation phase of the crime and in the judicial phase.

Each of these two phases will involve an interview with or interrogation of the child or teenager. The investigative interview may only be conducted by members of the Carabineros (national police force), the Investigative Police or the Public Ministry, and in no case by the prosecutor of the case. This type of interview will be used instead of the multiple statements that used to be taken from children and young people during the investigation.

The second interview will now be the judicial declaration. The child will give his testimony in a room separated from the rest of the participants. He will be interrogated by an intermediary in a language adapted to his level of understanding.

In both stages, the professionals involved must have specialised training in investigative interviewing techniques and judicial declaration to children and young people.

The implementation of the law will be carried out gradually. It will start in the regions of Arica y Parinacota, Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Maule, Aysén y Magallanes. In the second phase it will be implemented in Atacama, Coquimbo, Bío Bío, Araucanía and Los Ríos; and finally in the regions of Valparaíso, O'Higgins, Los Lagos and Metropolitana.


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