Domestic abuse bill to ban family court cross-examination

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This week the Government unveiled a draft bill to end cross-examination of domestic violence victims by their alleged abusive ex-partners in the family courts. The landmark bill will also introduce the first statutory definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse, as well as controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse. 

In criminal proceedings, the court can make an order preventing an unrepresented defendant cross-examining the alleged victim in person. In family proceedings, judges can use their general case management powers to prevent a victim from being cross-examined in person by the alleged perpetrator, but the family court currently cannot appoint a legal representative to represent the victim and conduct the cross-examination in their place.

The government says it is making 120 commitments to tackle domestic abuse, including £8m of Home Office funding to support children affected by domestic abuse and an additional £500,000 for provisions for male victims. 

If you need help and advice please contact our experienced family lawyers on Llandudno 874774 and Conwy 596596.