Vulnerable witness, domestic abuse and special measures- the importance of ensuring a fair trial – Becket Chambers

‘This article explores the approach a court should take in relation to vulnerable witnesses, in particular those that have experienced domestic abuse. The recent case of H v F [2020] EWHC 86 (Fam) demonstrates that a case will be successful on appeal if the correct procedures are not complied with.’

Full Story

Becket Chambers, 3rd February 2020

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

Achieving Best Evidence in Family Cases involving allegations of sexual abuse – Pallant Chambers

Posted January 30th, 2020 in child abuse, evidence, family courts, news, witnesses by sally

‘A judgment was released earlier this week in the recent case EF, GH, IJ (care proceedings) [2019] EWFC which has highlighted a continuing failure of ABE interviewers failing to adhere to the guidance. It’s no surprise that extra care needs to be taken when conducting an interview with a child, after all Children are often poor historians, and many are suggestible: Re B (Allegation of Sexual Abuse: Child’s Evidence) [2006] 2 FLR 1071.’

Full Story

Pallant Chambers, 27th January 2020

Source: www.pallantchambers.co.uk

Extinction Rebellion activists cleared after arresting officer books holiday during trial – Daily Telegraph

‘A group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) protestors who brought City of London Airport to a standstill were given £280 to cover travel costs to court, after their case collapsed because a key police witness is on holiday.’

Full Story

Daily Telegraph, 28th January 2020

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Can Prince Andrew be forced to testify? – BBC News

‘Prince Andrew is coming under pressure to speak to investigators in the US about the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein after claims he is not co-operating with the inquiry.’

Full Story

BBC News, 28th January 2020

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Contempt and pre-action conduct – Law Society’s Gazette

‘In the landmark decision in Jet2 Holidays Limited v Hughes & Hughes [2019] EWCA Civ 1858, the Court of Appeal (Sir Terence Etherton MR, Hamblen and Flaux LJJ) confirmed that the High Court has jurisdiction to commit for contempt of court in respect of false witness statements made under a pre-action protocol (PAP) even though proceedings were never issued.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 13th January 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Tribunal savages SRA witnesses as prosecution left in tatters – Legal Futures

‘The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has savaged two witnesses who gave evidence on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) against a Yorkshire sole practitioner.’

Full Story

Legal Futures, 12th December 2019

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Reforms to English civil court witness statements to proceed – OUT-LAW.com

Posted December 12th, 2019 in drafting, evidence, news, witnesses by tracey

‘”Modest” proposals to standardise witness statements and improve compliance with the rules have been endorsed in principle by the Business and Property Courts (BPC); the specialist courts of the High Court of England and Wales.’

Full Story

OUT-LAW.com, 12th December 2019

Source: www.pinsentmasons.com

“Over-lawyered” witness statements set for limited reform – Litigation Futures

Posted December 9th, 2019 in consultations, evidence, legal profession, news, statistics, witnesses by sally

‘Witness statements are “over-lawyered” and too long and argumentative, a Commercial Court working group has found, but it has shied away from recommending radical reform.’

Full Story

Litigation Futures, 9th December 2019

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Vulnerable witnesses and parties in the Family Courts – Local Government Lawyer

Posted November 22nd, 2019 in children, disabled persons, family courts, mental health, news, witnesses by tracey

‘Natalie Cross summarises important guidance on the approach to be taken to vulnerable witnesses and parties in the Family Courts.’

Full Story

Local Government Lawyer, 22nd November 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Solicitors urged to shorten their own witness statements – Litigation Futures

Posted November 19th, 2019 in case management, documents, news, solicitors, witnesses by sally

‘A High Court master has urged solicitors providing witness statements to cut back on the unnecessary detail, stressing that they are not the same as those given by lay witnesses.’

Full Story

Litigation Futures, 19th November 2019

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Appeal court allows contempt proceedings based on pre-action witness statements – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The Court of Appeal has allowed a holiday company to bring contempt proceedings against two holiday-makers based on statements made before proceedings were even issued.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 14th November 2019

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Former minister’s son branded ‘manipulative’ as he is jailed for seven years for killing toddler with car seat – Daily Telegraph

‘A former minister’s son has been branded “manipulative and cunning” as he was jailed for seven years for killing a three-year-old with a car seat.’

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Daily Telegraph, 14th November 2019

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

PAP witness statements “can be grounds for contempt” – Litigation Futures

Posted November 12th, 2019 in civil procedure rules, contempt of court, news, pre-action conduct, witnesses by sally

‘A witness statement verified by a statement of truth made by a prospective claimant before the commencement of proceedings can give rise to contempt, the Court of Appeal has ruled.’

Full Story

Litigation Futures, 11th November 2019

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

BBC Radio 4 – Law in Action: ‘Magistracy: a jewel in the crown of justice’ – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted November 7th, 2019 in cross-examination, Crown Court, magistrates, press releases, witnesses by tracey

‘Joshua Rozenberg from BBC Radio 4 spoke with Maidstone Bench Chair Gill Fryzer and John Bache from the Magistrates Association for his Law in Action programme.’

Full press release

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 7th November 2019

Source: www.judiciary.ukwww.judiciary.ukwww.judiciary.uk

Child sex abuse survivors ‘traumatised again’ by facing attackers in court buildings before hearings – The Independent

‘Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are forced to come face-to-face with their tormentors in court buildings while waiting for cases to be heard, a report has revealed.
Such shocks are among a host of failings by authorities and advisers that are regularly leaving people “at risk of being traumatised all over again” and feeling “discarded” by the justice system.’

Full Story

The Independent, 23rd October 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Law Society speech by Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos: Civil Procedure Rules – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted October 18th, 2019 in case management, civil procedure rules, speeches, witnesses by tracey

‘The Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos, spoke at the Law Society’s annual Civil Litigation conference on 9 October 2019 about 20 years of the Civil Procedure Rules – and whether the original reforms went too far, or not far enough.’

Full speech

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 15th October 2019

Source: www.judiciary.uk

Push for tougher line on witness statements – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted October 18th, 2019 in drafting, evidence, news, reports, witnesses by tracey

‘Initial proposals for the reform of witness statements are due to be considered by the senior judiciary in November, a High Court judge said this week. Mr Justice Baker, a member of the Witness Evidence Working Group, told delegates at the Law Society’s Commercial Litigation Conference on Tuesday that the group has now completed its report, which is due to be considered by judges at a “higher pay grade” next month.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 18th October 2019

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Rotherham child sex abuse: Waseem Khaliq jailed for further 45 months – BBC News

Posted September 17th, 2019 in child abuse, children, intimidation, news, sentencing, sexual offences, witnesses by tracey

‘A man jailed for 10 years for abusing young girls in Rotherham has also been sentenced to another three years and nine months in prison for witness intimidation.’

Full Story

BBC News, 16th September 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Homophobic hate crime charges fall despite soaring reports – BBC News

‘Fewer people are being prosecuted for homophobic hate crimes despite rising numbers of potential victims coming forward, figures suggest.’

Full Story

BBC News, 11th September 2019

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Consultation paper launched – Vulnerable witnesses and parties – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted September 5th, 2019 in case management, civil procedure rules, consultations, victims, witnesses by tracey

‘Consultation paper launched – Vulnerable witnesses and parties.’

Full consultation

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 3rd September 2019

Source: www.judiciary.uk