Final Report of the Vulnerable Witnesses and Children Working Group – Judiciary of England & Wales

‘Final Report of the Vulnerable Witnesses and Children Working Group.’

Full texts

Judiciary of England and Wales, 17th March 2015

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

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Advising witnesses on the defence case: what are the issues? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted March 19th, 2015 in consultations, cross-examination, evidence, news, witnesses by sally

‘The CPS have recently been running a consultation entitled “Speaking to Witnesses at Court”. The consultation period ended on Monday 16th March, and we await their response.’

Full story

Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 18th March 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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‘Victims’ law’ proposals from Labour panel – BBC News

‘There needs to be a “cultural shift” in the way victims of crime in England and Wales are treated, a panel of criminal justice experts has said.’

Full story

BBC News, 24th February 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Legal aid cuts exposing domestic abuse victims to court ordeal, says report – The Guardian

‘Victims of domestic abuse increasingly face being cross-examined by their attackers because legal aid cuts make it difficult to qualify for courtroom representation, according to research by Citizens Advice.’

Full story

The Guardian, 19th February 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Court guidelines for rape victims ‘are not working’, as study finds aggressive cross-examination and intimidating encounters are still common – The Independent

‘Victims of rape and sexual violence are not being properly protected during trials and should be dealt with in special courts, according to a new study to be published tomorrow. Guidelines meant to highlight the vulnerability of victims and special measures, such as allowing evidence to be given behind screens, “are not having their intended effect”, researchers at Bath University’s Institute for Policy Research warn.’

Full story

The Independent, 8th February 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Speaking to witnesses at court: consultation – Attorney General’s Office

‘We are committed to giving an excellent service to all victims and witnesses who attend court as part of our overall commitment to support victims and witnesses effectively throughout their time in the criminal justice system. The aim of this consultation is to ask for responses to the draft guidance which sets out the role played by prosecutors at or before court in ensuring that witnesses give their best evidence. This is a core part of the prosecutor’s job and will, if done properly, impact positively on both the quality of the witness’s evidence in court and the perception of the service they receive from us.’

Full consultation

Attorney General’s Office, 19th January 2015

Source: www.gov.uk/ago

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Children: Private Law Update (January 2015) – Family Law Week

‘Alex Verdan QC, of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews recent important judgments in private law children cases.’

Full story

Family Law Week, 28th January 2015

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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DPP to consult on greater assistance to victims giving evidence at court – Crown Prosecution Service

‘Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has today [19 January 2015] published a major consultation on the approach to ensuring victims are properly assisted for the trial process at court and called for an overhaul of the service provided to witnesses to ensure that they are able to give the best possible evidence. The proposals are subject to an eight week public consultation.’

Full consultation

Crown Prosecution Service, 19th January 2015

Source: www.cps.gov.uk

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Rape victims will be warned of defence lawyer tactics under new guidelines – Daily Telegraph

‘Director of Public Prosecutions launches controversial new guidelines intended to help victims and witnesses through giving evidence in court.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 19th January 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Neither compassionate nor humane – Legal Aid Handbook

‘The first two reported cases of the year in the Family Court are both concerned with the difficulties litigants – not to mention practitioners, and the courts – are now faced with when trying to navigate the legal aid system. The first – about which we posted here – concerned an unrepresented father who couldn’t get legal aid despite needing to cross-examine a child who had accused him of abuse, leading to the court to order that he be funded outside the legal aid scheme.’

Full story

Legal Aid Handbook, 11th January 2015

Source: www.legalaidhandbook.com

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How to make family hearings fair – UK Human Rights Blog

‘This case raises a very stark problem. A father wants to see his children aged 5 and 4. The mother has an elder daughter, Y, aged 17. Y told her teacher that the father sexually abused her. The truth or otherwise of this allegation is relevant to whether there should be contact between father and his children.’

Full story

UK Human Rights Blog, 5th January 2015

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Judge orders MoJ to pay for LiP’s lawyer – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The High Court has ordered the government to pay for a litigant in person to be represented at a hearing despite his lack of eligibility for legal aid.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 5th January 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Regina v Pooley (Jonathan); Regina v Lubemba – WLR Daily

Posted November 18th, 2014 in children, criminal procedure, cross-examination, law reports, trials, witnesses by sally

Regina v Pooley (Jonathan); Regina v Lubemba [2014] WLR (D) 472

‘The court gave guidance as to what measures a trial judge might legitimately take to protect a vulnerable witness without impacting adversely on the right of a defendant to a fair trial.’

WLR Daily, 9th October 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Judge hits out at system that encourages solicitors to charge barristers referral fees – Legal Futures

‘Mr Justice Green, chairman of the Advocacy Training Council, has condemned the lack of a “level playing field” for publicly funded advocates, which is leading to the practice of “selling litigation rights”.’

Full story

Legal Futures, 13th November 2014

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Regina v P (J); Regina v Lubemba – WLR Daily

Posted November 11th, 2014 in children, criminal procedure, cross-examination, evidence, law reports, trials, witnesses by tracey

Regina v P (J); Regina v Lubemba: [2014] WLR (D) 472

‘The court gave guidance as to what measures a trial judge might legitimately take to protect a vulnerable witness without impacting adversely on the right of a defendant to a fair trial.’

WLR Daily, 9th October 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Neuberger unsure of benefits of single joint experts – Litigation Futures

Posted November 10th, 2014 in cross-examination, expert witnesses, news by sally

‘The use of single joint experts could render the judge purely a “figure head” in proceedings, the president of the Supreme Court has warned.’

Full story

Litigation Futures, 10th November 2014

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

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European Convention on Human Rights: What has it ever done for us? – The Independent

‘As the Tories attempt to dilute the treaty’s authority in the UK, James Cusick takes a look at the difference it has made.’

Full story

The Independent, 3rd October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Domestic violence victims are being forced to face abusers in court ordeal, lawyers warn – The Independent

‘Growing numbers of domestic violence victims are being quizzed by their former partners in court due to cuts in legal aid which have led to a rise in litigation-in-person cases, family law specialists are warning.’

Full story

The Independent, 5th October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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New rights for victims of crime – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

‘Victims will have the right to tell the court how they have been affected by a crime as part of a major set of reforms announced by the Justice Secretary. They will also receive better information and support with the introduction of a nationwide Victims’ Information Service, making it easier for victims by establishing a single source of information and help.’

Full story

Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 30th September 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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A bold new vision for the treatment of victims – Ministry of Justice

‘Victims’ rights will be enshrined in law as part of a major set of reforms announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today.’

Full press release

Ministry of Justice, 14th September 2014

Source: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

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