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”.’

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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.’

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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).’


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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.’

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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.’

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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.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 10th April 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Attorney general resists call to protect witnesses from court cross-examination – The Guardian

Posted April 8th, 2014 in attorney general, children, cross-examination, judiciary, news, trials, witnesses by sally

‘Dominic Grieve QC, the attorney general, has resisted calls for young and vulnerable witnesses to be cross-examined by a judge rather than several barristers to avoid aggressive courtroom questioning .’

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The Guardian, 7th April 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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A voice for victims of crime – The Guardian

‘Justice isn’t just about sentencing: it’s about encouraging victims to come forward in the first place. Labour’s planned law will help. By Keir Starmer.’

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The Guardian, 6th April 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Vulnerable witness reforms proposed by Keir Starmer in new ‘victims’ law’ – BBC News

‘Radical changes to the way vulnerable witnesses are treated in court are being considered by the Labour Party.’

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BBC News, 7th April 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Change is long overdue for victims of crime – The Guardian

‘The court process can be traumatic for accusers like Tracy Shelvey. Will a proposed victims’ law make it fit for purpose?’

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The Guardian, 2nd April 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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The Not Entirely Secret Diary of Mr Lansley – Panopticon

‘What considerations are relevant when deciding whether a Ministerial diary should be disclosed under FOIA? The decision of the First-tier Tribunal in Department of Health v Information Commissioner EA/2013/0087 is, perhaps surprisingly, the first Tribunal decision to address this issue. The judgment engages with a number of difficult issues: the Tribunal’s approach to Government evidence, the value of cross-examination in Tribunal hearings, aggregation of public interests under FOIA, and Parliamentary privilege. Hence it is of general importance, going beyond the intrinsic interest of its specific subject matter.’

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Panopticon, 18th March 2014

Source: www.panopticonblog.com

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Nigella Lawson: not a victim of the criminal justice system – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted January 7th, 2014 in bad character, cross-examination, fraud, news, victims, witnesses by sally

‘Nigella Lawson is a victim of domestic violence, but she is not a victim of the criminal justice system.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 7th January 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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R. v. Farooqi – Has the Court of Appeal Compounded an Injustice? – Criminal Law and Justice Weekly

“Can a defendant ever have a fair trial or be safely convicted if his advocate is incompetent, asks Matthew Scott.”

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Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, 19th October 2013

Source: www.criminallawandjustice.co.uk

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DPP issues tough new guidelines for child sex cases aimed at ensuring more convictions, reveals Keir Starmer – The Independent

“New guidelines for dealing with child sex abuse cases published today will mark ‘the most fundamental attitude shift’ in the criminal justice system in a generation, the Director of Public Prosecutions has claimed.”

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The Independent, 17th October 2013

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Child sexual abuse victims are being failed by courts, says NSPCC – The Guardian

“Children giving evidence in court in sexual abuse cases need to be given more support because many suffer from stress before a trial, the NSPCC has said.”

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The Guardian, 5th October 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Cross-Examination in the Dock – BBC Unreliable Evidence

Posted September 17th, 2013 in cross-examination, news, trials, victims, witnesses by sally

“In the first of a news series, Clive Anderson asks if overly aggressive cross-examination of witnesses in court turns trial by jury into trial by ordeal.”

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BBC Unreliable Evidence, 11th September 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Top judge rejects calls for specialist sex crime courts – Daily Telegraph

Posted August 7th, 2013 in child abuse, courts, cross-examination, judges, news, sexual offences, victims, witnesses by sally

“The most senior judge in England and Wales has rejected calls for specialist courts to deal with child sex abuse cases.”

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Daily Telegraph, 7th August 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Child abuse victims to get specialist trial judges – Daily Telegraph

Posted August 7th, 2013 in child abuse, cross-examination, judiciary, news, sexual offences, victims, witnesses by sally

“Child victims of sexual abuse will have their cases tried by a hand picked panel of specialist judges to give them more protection in criminal trials, the Lord Chief Justice is expected to announce.”

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Daily Telegraph, 7th August 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Courtroom treatment of vulnerable victims faces review – The Guardian

“An investigation is being launched into aggressive courtroom cross-examination of vulnerable victims in the wake of high-profile child sex abuse cases, Damian Green has confirmed. The justice minister said work would be carried out over the summer to find ways to curb hostile practices after a growing number of cases in which witnesses were left ‘deeply traumatised.’”

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The Guardian, 1st July 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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