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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Should children give evidence in family proceedings? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

‘The case concerned a five-year-old boy. The appellant, his father, had applied for contact. The mother had opposed, alleging violence and so a fact finding hearing was ordered. The mother wanted her 13-year-old daughter, from a different relationship, to give evidence about some of the alleged incidents. That child had never been asked about the incidents and had to date given no account, whether by an Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interview or otherwise. The judge ordered Cafcass to meet with this child to explore matters further – in particular, whether that child should answer questions put to her in writing and/or give live evidence at the hearing. The father appealed that decision. After the hearing and before the father obtained a stay, Cafcass met the child. Cafcass recommended that the questions should be reworded and reduced in number and also that the child “should not be compelled to provide live evidence” and/or “subjected to live cross-examination”.’

Full story

Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 6th August 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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DPP to examine treatment of witnesses after abuse victim’s death – The Guardian

‘The director of public prosecutions (DPP) said she recognised the “real issue” over whether victims and witnesses are treated fairly after the death of a sex abuse victim sparked calls for reform.’

Full story

The Guardian, 27th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Sex abuse victim has post traumatic stress from court questioning – BBC News

‘A sex abuse victim says a cross-examination in court in Jersey was so aggressive she has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).’


Full story

BBC News, 23rd June 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Hayes v Hayes – WLR Daily

Posted June 20th, 2014 in appeals, bankruptcy, civil procedure rules, cross-examination, law reports by tracey

Hayes v Hayes: [2014] WLR (D) 267

‘Cross-examination was not appropriate on the hearing of a bankruptcy petition. The appeal court should be slow to depart from the regular practice of registrars, which was to decide such hearings without cross-examination. The insolvency court was not a suitable forum for the trying of disputes.’

WLR Daily, 12th June 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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First victims spared harrowing court room under pre-recorded evidence pilot – Ministry of Justice

‘The first ever case allowing vulnerable victims and witnesses to give evidence ahead of the trial will start tomorrow.’

Full story

Ministry of Justice, 28th April 2014

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

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Vulnerable witnesses allowed to give evidence pre-trial – BBC News

‘Vulnerable witnesses can give evidence before a trial starts from Monday as part of a pilot scheme in three Crown Courts in England.’

Full story

BBC News, 28th April 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Should judges question vulnerable witnesses? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted April 11th, 2014 in barristers, cross-examination, judiciary, news, professional conduct, witnesses by sally

‘Sir Keir Starmer, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, has been in the news this week with the suggestion that vulnerable witnesses should be questioned by the Judge in the case rather than by counsel, and this idea should give us pause to reflect on both the role of the judge and the role of the advocate.’

Full story

Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 10th April 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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