Child mental health expert witness course

Monday - Tuesday  25 - 26 June 2012

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, LONDON, W1G 0AE

This 2 day course concentrates on the technique involved in acting as expert witness for child mental health professionals and has five main components.

Firstly there are initial lectures on:
The law pertaining to children
The role of the mental health professional
Receiving instruction.

That is followed by a second part consisting of lectures on:
Assessing children
Assessing parenting and families

The last lecture style presentations are on
Writing a report.
Giving evidence

Seminars and a 'Mock Court'
Before the course participants are sent details of a 'case' with a set of instructions. At the end of the first day a seminar is held to go through the case in order to help participants write a report (which hopefully they can prepare over night if they have not done so already). First thing on the second day another small group seminar examines the issues and manner of presentation. The afternoon of the second day is very special. Barristers from a good set of chambers hold a mock court at which each participant is invited to give evidence. This is a safe venue in which to practice and witnesses are given advice on the pro and cons of their technique.

For information on hotels close to the RSM at the best rates please go to:

Monday 25 June

8.30 am

Registration and coffee

9.00 am

His Honour Judge John Altman, Designated Family Judge for London

9.15 am

The role of the psychiatrist/mental health professional
Dr Claire Sturge, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Northwick Park Hospital

10.15 am


10.45 am

Assessing the child: Psychiatric diagnosis - identifying needs
Dr Margaret DeJong, Great Ormond Street Hospital

11.45 am

Assessment of parenting capacity
Dr Danya Glaser, Honorary Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Visiting Professor, UCL

12.45 pm


1.45 pm

The role of the adult psychiatrist
Dr Frances Klemperer, Consultant, General Adult Psychiatry, South Kensington & Chelsea Mental Health Centre and Family Assessment & Support Team, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Dr Anna Steeruwitz, Court Assessment Service, Anna Freud Centre, London

2.45 pm

Preparing a report
Professor Harry Zeitlin, Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of London

3.45 pm


4.00 pm

Case history report preparation
Small group work - Discussion of vignette and case problem analysis

5.00 pm

Close of day
Tuesday 26 June

9.00 am

Discussion with coffee
Small work groups

10.00 am

Court work: Clinicians' fears and expectations
Dr Johan Redelinghuys, Consultant Child Psychiatrist, West London NHS Mental Health Trust

11.00 am

The legal framework
Mr Charles Prest, Barrister, 6 Park Square, Leeds

12.00 pm


12.15 pm

Giving evidence: how to defend your opinions in Court
Ms Martha Cover, Head of Chambers, Coram Chambers, London

1.15 pm


2.00 pm

Role-play mock court
Barristers and expert witnesses

4.30 pm


4.45 pm

Closing remarks

5.00 pm

Close of meeting

Meeting ref: PYC07

CPD: 10 credits

More about this section

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7290 2985
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7290 2989
Email: Coordinator

Senior Events Co-ordinator:
Ruth Cloves
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7290 2985
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7290 2989