4 Apr 2013

Law Commission suggests rape case law change

11:23 am on 4 April 2013

The Law Commission wants a law change to ensure rape complainants are given pre-trial warning of a defence lawyer's intention to cross-examine them.

The Evidence Act was overhauled in 2006 to reduce court delays caused by legal argument about the admissibility of certain documents or statements.

The Law Commission says the Act is generally working well but could do with some fine tuning.

One suggested change would require defence lawyers to signal in advance of a criminal trial whether they intended to cross-examine a victim in a sexual case.

Law Commission president Sir Grant Hammond said the amendment would reduce the strain on complainants by stopping them being ambushed in court.