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Part 3A of the Family Procedure Rules (FPR) clearly sets out the court’s duty to consider the vulnerability of a party or witness in relation to their participation in court proceedings, including when giving evidence.
The court must consider whether a party’s participation in the proceedings is likely to be diminished by reason of vulnerability and, if so, whether it is necessary to make one or more participation directions to assist that party. The court must consider a number of factors, including whether a party or witness suffers from mental disorder or otherwise has a significant impairment of intelligence or social functioning. Practice Direction 3AA provides further guidance to the court.