Penny Cooper B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D.

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

Professor Cooper is a world-leading expert on witness intermediaries and accommodations in court for vulnerable people, including those with autism. She undertakes cases concerning:

  • Effective participation and human rights of vulnerable witnesses/ parties.
  • Procedural justice for children and vulnerable adults.
  • Due process when a witness or party has autism.

She is known for having “revolutionised the way in which courts approach vulnerable people” through her research and academic work and has been described as “the guru” on special measures.

Professor Cooper designed and pioneered the well- known and successful English witness intermediary role as well as the ground rules hearing approach, now written into court rules on her recommendation. She also co-founded and has led since inception the internationally renowned resource known as The Advocate’s Gateway (‘TAG’). Her publications and TAG have been cited on multiple occasions in the Court of Appeal and High Court. A High Court Judge referred to her cross-examination in court as “a model of its kind”. She has advised and taught in over ten jurisdictions around the world and in 2016 gave evidence to the Royal Commission in Sydney as an invited expert. As a result, in 2017, the Royal Commission recommended witness intermediaries for the whole of Australia. She has written official guidance for and trained all the accredited intermediaries in England, Northern Ireland and New South Wales, Australia.

She has written in total over one hundred and fifty articles, books and book chapters on procedural fairness, vulnerable witnesses, advocacy and autism. She co-edits the leading textbook in her field. She provides specialist legal and expert opinion to law firms, policy makers, judges and government bodies in numerous jurisdictions.

Selected recent publications:

Cooper, P. & Norton, H. (Eds.) Vulnerable People and the Criminal Justice System: A Guide to Law and Practice. (OUP, 2017).

Cooper, P. & Mattison, M. (2017). Intermediaries, vulnerable people and the quality of evidence: An international comparison of three versions of the English intermediary model. The International Journal of Evidence and Proof. 21(4) 351–370.

Allely, C. & Cooper, P. (2017). Jurors’ and Judges’ Evaluation of Defendants with Autism and the Impact on Sentencing: A Systematic PRISMA Review of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Courtroom.  Journal of Law and Medicine. 25 JLM 1.

Cooper, P., & Allely, C. (2017). You can’t judge a book by its cover: Evolving professional responsibilities, liabilities and ‘judgecraft’ when a party has Asperger’s Syndrome. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. 68 (1), 35–58.

Cooper, P., Backen, P., & Marchant, R. (2015). Getting to grips with Ground Rules Hearings – a checklist for judges, advocates and intermediaries. Criminal Law Review. 6, 420-435.

Cooper, P., & Wurtzel, D., (2014). Better the second time around? Department of Justice Registered Intermediaries Schemes and lessons from England and Wales. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. 65(1), 39-61.

Cooper, P. (2014). Speaking when they are spoken to: Hearing vulnerable witnesses in care proceedings. Child and Family Law Quarterly. 26(2), 132-151.

Case commentaries:

Cooper, P. (2018). R. v Grant-Murray and another; R. v McGill & Ors. Criminal Law Review. (In press)

Cooper, P. (2017). R. v S. Criminal Law Review. 12, 982 -987.

Cooper, P (2017). R. v Mulindwa. Criminal Law Review. 12, 979 – 982.

Cooper, P. (2017). R. v SG. Criminal Law Review. 9, 733-737.

Cooper, P. (2017) R. v Hamberger. Criminal Law Review. 9, 708-711.

Cooper, P. (2017). R. v Blackman (Alexander Wayne) (also known as ‘Marine A). Criminal Law Review. 7, 555-562.

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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