Family law experts call for end of '˜distressing' witness practice

SOLICITORS at Trethowans have backed calls to speed up legislation that will stop domestic abuse victims having to face their abusers in court.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 23rd July 2018, 1:48 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 1:54 pm

Family law experts from the firm, which has offices across the region and is the lead sponsor of The News' Business Excellence Awards, said the practice of alleged perpetrators being able to cross examine their victims in court needs to end.

Their concerns follow a call from Women's Aid, Resolution and The Law Society, in which  they called on the government to bring forward promised legislation which would ban the distressing practice.

In February last year, the justice secretary promised to legislate to ban alleged abusers from being able to cross-examine their victim. However, the bill fell through. 

Grant Cameron, partner at Trethowans, said: '˜The thought of being cross examined by their abuser can obviously be hugely distressing. The real worry is that it could put victims off giving evidence altogether.

'˜It's time witnesses in family courts were afforded the same protection as those giving evidence in criminal proceedings.'