Rape victims to be spared cross-examination in court
The Ministry of Justice is to introduce changes in court procedures that will save rape victims from the ordeal of being cross-examined in court.
Liz Truss, the justice secretary, announced that from September victims in England and Wales would be able to provide evidence in prerecorded cross-examinations to be played to the jury once a trial begins.
Ms Truss said the changes to rape trials would prevent victims facing the trauma of confronting their attackers without reducing the right to a fair trial. She told the Sunday Times: “There is more we can do to help alleged victims in these cases give the best possible evidence they can give in an environment that is much more suitable than open court. We’ve been trialling this for children in cases of sex abuses.”
She added: “What this has led to is a much higher level of early guilty pleas. That has a huge amount of benefit. It resolves the case much earlier for the victim. It reduces the level of trauma for the victim. I want to see that being the standard offer in those cases and that will give more victims the confidence to come forward.