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Victims of domestic abuse protected from being cross-examined by their perpetrator in family and civil courts

Following the welcome and long-awaited Domestic Abuse Act 2021, victims of domestic abuse are now afforded additional support and protection in the family and civil court process. Where there is evidence of domestic abuse, the alleged perpetrator is now prohibited from cross-examining the victim at court hearings. This salient change introduces a new government-backed scheme which involves cross-examination being undertaken by a court-appointed legal professional. Such a scheme will hopefully reduce the stress and trauma for victims of domestic abuse going to court and ensure that they have a fair hearing. It complements the existing special measures that are available, for example screens and separate court entrances.

The change forms part of government efforts to reduce the trauma of appearing in court and ensure that victims are better supported. This includes introducing special measures in family and civil courts, such as screens and separate entrances, to minimise stress and help witnesses to give their best evidence.


family law