The Ministry of Justice has announced a new pilot scheme which will allow children and vulnerable adults to avoid potentially traumatic cross-examinations in court
In an initial trial set for Leeds, Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Thames, young and vulnerable victims and witnesses will be able to pre-record their evidence and cross-examinations away from a court room audience, with the recording included in the later trial.
The scheme will be rolled out nationally if it is successful during the pilot.
Although children and some vulnerable adults can already give evidence behind a screen or via video link, there is no limit tor the length of time they can spend on the stand or the how many lawyers may cross-examine them.
Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling said:
“It is simply not right that young and vulnerable victims are forced to relive the most traumatic experience they have ever had, often for days on end, when cross-examined in court. I am adamant we must put a stop to this, but without compromising everyone’s right to a fair trial.”