Peers block Lord Lester’s suspension over harassment claims – The Guardian

‘A women’s rights campaigner has said she feels “victimised all over again” after the House of Lords voted to block the suspension of a Liberal Democrat peer who was found to have promised to make her a baroness if she agreed to sleep with him.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 15th November 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Balancing the rights of domestic abuse victims and their alleged abusers in court – Family Law

‘Should a court allow a potential perpetrator of domestic abuse, when they are acting in person, to cross-examine their alleged victim? Does this run the risk of the proceedings themselves being abusive? Or will it unfairly curtail the ability of the accused to put their case? If the court does not allow direct cross-examination, how should it proceed?’

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Family Law, 30th October 2018

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Judge who disparaged one party’s counsel “did not give appearance of bias” – Litigation Futures

‘A judge who was “snide” and disparaging to counsel for one of the parties before her did nonetheless not give the appearance of bias, the High Court has ruled.’

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Litigation Futures, 15th October 2018

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Children: Public Law Update (August 2018) – Family Law Week

‘John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent, important Children Public Law cases.’

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Family Law Week, 15th August 2018

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

Procedural challenges in a fact-finding hearing in wardship proceedings – Family Law

Posted August 15th, 2018 in cross-examination, domestic violence, litigants in person, news, wardship by sally

‘The case of M v F and others [2018] EWHC 1720 (Fam) is a reminder that the main issues in the case should be identified and addressed as early as possible in proceedings. Brendan Roche, barrister, of Seven Bedford Row, highlights the procedural issues that arose because the father was a litigant in person, including whether he could cross-examine the mother.’

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Family Law, 14th August 2018

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Judge takes over father’s cross-examination in case involving rape allegations – and it ends up being unfair on everyone involved – Transparency Project

Posted July 31st, 2018 in appeals, cross-examination, judges, litigants in person, news, rape, witnesses by sally

‘Mr Justice Hayden is a High Court Judge who has been very outspoken about the potential for the court process to be abusive of those who are already victims of domestic abuse. In a case called Re A (a minor) (fact finding; unrepresented party) [2017] EWHC 1195 (Fam), having permitted the unrepresented father to directly question the mother (albeit with special measures in place so they didn’t have to confront each other by line of sight) he memorably said ‘Never again’. Hayden J said it was ‘a stain on the reputation of our Family Justice system that a Judge can still not prevent a victim being cross examined by an alleged perpetrator’. Today he has published an appeal judgment overturning a fact-finding decision in a case where another judge tried to cross examine the mother on behalf of the father accused of rape because (Hayden J said) the process was unfair and the decision unsound. The full judgment can be read here : PS v BP [2018] EWHC 1987 (Fam) (27 July 2018), but this blog post explains it.’

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Transparency Project, 30th July 2018

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Speech by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division: Because it is the right thing to do – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted July 25th, 2018 in children, cross-examination, family courts, speeches, witnesses by tracey

‘Speech by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division: Because it is the right thing to do.’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 24th July 2018

Source: www.judiciary.uk

The risks to litigants in person when cross-examining psychologist expert witnesses – Family Law

Posted June 26th, 2018 in cross-examination, expert witnesses, news, psychiatrists by sally

‘Many psychologist expert witnesses, from professional bodies (British Psychological Society) to more informal expert witness networks, have raised concerns about the impact of this practice. The concerns fall into three main areas: the potential harm of conducting such a cross-examination to the litigants in person (LiPs) in question; potential breaches of ethical conduct for the psychologist expert; and the potential impact on the quality of the evidence. This paper hopes to set out these issues and invites discussion as to potential guidance and remedy.’

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Family Law, 28th June 2018

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Domestic abusers still able to cross-examine victims in court – The Guardian

‘Victims of domestic violence continue to be cross-examined by their abusers in family courts more than a year after the government promised to stop such ordeals, a report has found.’

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The Guardian, 30th May 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Speech by Sir James Munby: Changing families – family law yesterday, today and tomorrow – a view from south of the Border – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

‘Speech by Sir James Munby: Changing families – family law yesterday, today and tomorrow – a view from south of the Border.’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 21st March 2018

Source: www.judiciary.gov.uk

Helping child witnesses: ‘One girl gave evidence with a hamster on her lap’ – The Guardian

‘They might be victims of rape, or witnesses to murder. But can they really be relied upon to tell the truth at trial?’

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The Guardian, 17th February 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

The challenge of expert evidence – Counsel

Posted February 12th, 2018 in cross-examination, evidence, expert witnesses, news by tracey

‘Avoid the pitfalls of probabilistic reasoning and examine expert evidence with more confidence: Colin McCaul QC introduces new guidance from the Inns of Court College of Advocacy and the Royal Statistical Society.’

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Counsel, February 2018

Source: www.counselmagazine.co.uk

UK rape complainants ‘face unfair questions about sexual history’ – The Guardian

Posted January 29th, 2018 in criminal procedure, cross-examination, evidence, news, rape by sally

‘Complainants in rape cases are being subjected to invasive and unfair questioning about their sexual history, according to a cross-party campaign supporting tighter restrictions on cross-examination in trials.’

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The Guardian, 29th January 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

MoJ rejects calls for ban on revealing sexual history in rape cases – The Guardian

Posted December 15th, 2017 in cross-examination, disclosure, evidence, news, rape by tracey

‘The Ministry of Justice has rejected calls for a ban on rape complainants’ sexual history being revealed in court, saying cross-examination should continue to be allowed in exceptional circumstances.’

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The Guardian, 14th December 2017

Source: www.theguardian.com

Crown Prosecution Service – Family Law

‘In D (Appeal: Failure of Case Management) [2017] EWHC 1907 (Fam) the Court of Appeal recently considered the mother’s application for an appeal which raised issues about judicial case management and in particular the court’s approach to the cross examination of an alleged victim by an alleged abuser.’

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Family Law, 7th September 2017

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Privy Council: ‘fairness’ central to whether evidence must be put to party at trial – OUT-LAW.com

Posted August 21st, 2017 in cohabitation, cross-examination, evidence, news, Privy Council, shareholders by sally

‘The question of whether a case will fall if a judge rejects a party’s evidence on grounds which that party has not had a chance to explain during the trial should be based on whether the overall trial is fair, senior UK judges have indicated.’

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OUT-LAW.com, 18th August 2017

Source: www.out-law.com

Cross examination of abused wife a ‘stain’ on justice system – judge – Law Society’s Gazette

‘A High Court judge has said he will refuse to allow alleged domestic abusers to cross examine their victims in any future hearings he oversees.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 31st May 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Top QC implied sex assault victim ‘bore responsibility’ – Law Society’s Gazette

‘A senior silk has been reprimanded after a disciplinary tribunal found that he implied that a woman who was sexually assaulted by her stepfather bore responsibility for the attack.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 16th May 2017

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Court of Appeal warns judges against interrupting witness evidence too much – Litigation Futures

‘The Chancellor of the High Court has urged judges to “temper eagerness with restraint” in the way they conduct trials, after a circuit judge was found to have made excessive interventions while witnesses were giving evidence.’

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Litigation Futures, 10th April 2017

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Rape victims to be spared ordeal of cross-examination in court – The Guardian

Posted March 20th, 2017 in cross-examination, news, rape, sexual offences, trials, victims, video recordings by tracey

‘New measures to spare alleged rape victims from facing live cross-examination in court will be rolled out as part of changes being made by the justice secretary.’

Full story

The Guardian, 19th March 2017

Source: www.guardian.co.uk