The Communication Partner Service offered assistance to people with complex communication needs to provide an accurate and coherent account of their experiences in police interviews and court proceedings.
The Statutes Amendment (Vulnerable Witnesses) Act 2015 provided the statutory basis for the establishment of the service. The law entitles a witness to be given communication assistance in certain circumstances and includes a communication partner and use of a communication device.
New communication partner model
From 1 March 2020, a new model for communication partners came into effect. Professionals with specialist expertise in providing communication assistance are engaged by agencies and legal professionals eg members of the South Australia Police or legal practitioners on a fee-for-service basis.