I am delighted to bring you news of a major success today for the Order in Court campaign.
Under their victims’ rights reforms, the Government have announced that by March 2015 they will ensure:
- there is compulsory training for barristers who take part in sexual abuse cases
- vulnerable witnesses can choose to give evidence from a place where they feel comfortable, rather than requiring them to go to court, with at least one such location available in each court region
These are incredibly positive steps, which have the potential to reduce significantly the trauma suffered by many vulnerable young witnesses and victims.
Twenty-five years after a better deal for child witnesses was recommended by a leading judge we now seem to have finally set course for this to become a reality. However, this is just the start of a journey which must result in a criminal justice system treating children in the right way when they are courageous enough to help bring abusers to justice. And in particular we will continue to campaign for child witnesses to have the support of a Registered Intermediary, a trained communications expert, if required.
This is fantastic news and we will continue to keep you updated as more detailed plans emerge.