SPEAK UP FOR THOSE
WHO CANNOT SPEAK
PROF TANYA MARIE ROBINSON
For twenty consecutive years, Prof Robinson has been a registered university student.
She obtained her first degree, cum laude, in social work, psychology and sociology in 2001 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She completed her master’s program, cum laude at the University of Pretoria.
Prof Robinson gained academic blazar status at the University of Pretoria.
She graduated with a degree in education at the University of South Africa in 2003.
In 2005, she obtained her first Philosophiae doctor at the University of Stellenbosch and facilitated research on a clinical subject matter.
She obtained her second Philosophiae doctor in May 2011 from the University of the North West in forensic studies.
Prof Robinson did a groundbreaking study on reporting false child sexual abuse allegations and graduated with her third doctoral degree in 2015 from the University of Cape Town.
In 2016, Vice-chancellor, Prof Dan Kgwadi and the President of the North West University of Convocation, Dr Sammy Thekiso awarded Dr Robinson with the 2016 Research Excellence Award for Prof Robinson’s contribution to society and her devotion to research.
Prof Robinson is currently enrolled at the University of South Africa for a PhD in Criminal Justice exploring the ethical responsibility of expert witnesses in cases concerning violent crimes committed against children.
The North-West University bestowed the honour of Extra Ordinary Associate Professor upon her in 2017.
Prof Robinson is a Research Fellow in the College of Law, Department of Police Practice.
Prof Robinson was born in Middelburg and grew up in Johannesburg. She often visited Zimbabwe with her parents as her grandmother stayed in Mhasvingo. This is where she learnt how to get involved with the community, to fish with her brother in the Kyle Lake and to share food with communities, and assist her grandmother with teaching underprivileged children in rural areas. Prof Robinson grew up with a strong work ethic and travelling with her parents through Africa as a child shaped her vision of helping children with a perplexed future.
As child Prof Robinson was involved with various charity projects and this set the platform for her to dedicate the past twenty years of her adult life making a difference in the lives of children. Prof Robinson is a mother to three beautifully empowered young children and a wife to Sarel Blaauw. She believes in the value a family unit can bring to each other, to create a sense of belonging, a sense of strength and a commitment to one another and oneself.
Prof Robinson holds the hands of many vulnerable children. She believes in the strength of little people and to give voice to ones that have no voice. She has committed herself to break the silence for so many children living with no voice, no strength, and no dream. She has walked the streets of some of the most hazardous areas in Africa and abroad, seeking answers for the convoluted problems society are faced with on a daily basis. To name only a few, Prof Robinson has worked in soup kitchens, children’s homes, human trafficking homesteads, brothels, women and children shelters and is prison working with child sex offenders.
Prof Robinson has been in private forensic practice for the past twenty years. She has run her charity foundation for the last fifteen years and is also the proud Ambassador of the Teddy Bear Foundation. She has published nine books on the subject matter relating to child maltreatment and neglect and forensic investigation.
BHF Practice number 0154326
SAASWIPP membership SWPP 2000/1375
SACSSP membership number 10-22144
SAPSAC membership number 429
AN EXPLORATION OF THE ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY OF EXPERT WITNESSES IN CHILD VICTIM COURT CASES.
TANYA MARIE ROBINSON
Submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
in the subject
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA
SUPERVISOR: PROFESSOR RIKA SNYMAN
CO-SUPERVISOR: DOCTOR BERNADINE BENSON
Violence is widespread in South African society. South Africa has been described as having the highest prevalence of violence and violence-related injury in the world among countries where this is measured. Limited research is available on an ethical framework for expert witnesses in child victim court cases. Gathering information on this subject matter can assist in conceptualising the ethical responsibility of the expert witness and give deliverance of information on the high standard, ethical, credible expert witness testimony in the courtroom. The expert witness plays a critical role in child victim cases, and court proceedings and experts must act professional and meet the necessary ethical standard in delivering expert testimony. Often the expert witness testimony is the only voice of reason in protecting the victimised child. The ethical responsibility of professional persons in such cases is of great importance in serving the victimised child. This study highlights the looking glass from a deontological theory to ensure truthful testimony to the judge in the courtroom. This qualitative study contextualises violent crimes committed against children and the role and duties of expert witnesses to deliver professional and high-quality testimony.