The Government have recently announced a draft bill which would stop alleged abusive ex-partners from cross examining their victims.
This practice, which had been banned in the Criminal Courts, but not in the family Courts, occurred when the defendant did not have legal representation. The Criminal Courts could however make Orders which would prevent the defendant cross-examining the alleged victim.
Whilst this is a draft bill, it is a significant change to the way in which the Court has dealt with this process previously and will align the Family Court with the Criminal Court.
It is also hoped that this will enable the Court to keep such cases as child focused as possible, as the Court may have to consider the welfare of any children and any safeguarding issues that arise from that (both in terms of children and the alleged victims).
Additionally, and importantly, the bill has also introduced economic abuse, as well as controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse, within the definition of domestic abuse.
If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this article or on family issues generally, please contact Paul Wild, our Family Law Partner, on 0118 958 9711 or [email protected] and he would be glad to assist you. Paul also offers a confidential one-hour fixed fee meeting for £95 inclusive of VAT, or you can find out more on our Family Law page.