Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses
The Vulnerable Witnesses and Children Working Group has produced its final report which identifies deficits in the management of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses within the Family Court, and the need for improved access to the Family Court for children in order that their voices can be properly heard within proceedings.
The report makes recommendations as to additional rules, which will soon be considered by the Family Procedure Rules Committee, and suggests that specialist judge-led training ought to be mandatory for advocates dealing with sexual offences. This is intended to bring the family jurisdiction in line with the criminal courts and seems likely to be rolled out within the next two years. The report endorses the use of the Advocacy Training Council toolkits for questioning vulnerable witnesses, which can be accessed here.
The reports’ proposals and recommendations begin at paragraph 32.
The reports appendices can be accessed here.