On 21 July, sections 65 and 66 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 came into force. These new regulations ensure that perpetrators and alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse will no longer be authorised to cross-examine their victims in court in person. In some cases when cross-examination is necessary, the court will appoint a legal professional to carry out the process.
Cross-examination from an abuser can be a terrifying prospect for anyone who has suffered domestic abuse. It can put an individual at a disadvantage as it can potentially diminish the quality of their evidence. The new updates will ensure that justice is carried out fairly for both sides.
The change forms part of the government’s efforts to better support victims in court and reduce trauma. Other special measures include separate entrances for the victims and their alleged abuser, and security screens so that both parties are unable to see each other.
Justice Minister, Tom Pursglove MP said:
“Going to court about family issues can be a traumatic experience, so victims of domestic abuse shouldn’t face the extra torment of being cross-examined by their abuser.”
“The family law team at Pinney Talfourd welcome these changes in the law which are long overdue. They will go some to protecting victims of domestic abuse who take part in court proceedings. As members of Resolution we will continue to campaign for more changes in the law.”
If you wish to know more about domestic abuse from a legal standpoint, please contact one of our specialist family lawyers who will be able to assist you further.
The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Louise Eady, Senior Associate in the Family Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of July 2022.