Liz Truss orders review to stop domestic abusers cross-examining victims, lawyers still not happy

Damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t?

liz-truss

Justice Secretary Liz Truss has ordered a review which could bring an end to alleged domestic violence perpetrators directly cross-examining their victims in family law courts. This would bring these cases in line with criminal ones where the practice has been banned.

A welcome step, you might think, but pantomime villain Truss has come under criticism for it.

Though legal commentators were shocked to learn violent and abusive men are allowed to cross-examine their exes in family law hearings, the Ministry of Justice’s plans to ban this practice haven’t been met with quite as much enthusiasm.

Take criminal law specialist Mark George QC, who — reacting to today’s news — had this to say:

Then there was Steve Hynes, director of the Legal Action Group, who thinks a “wider review” is needed:

Others said the Justice Secretary should not be “shocked” domestic abusers take advantage of legal aid cuts, while another questioned whether this would mean some men would be banned from questioning partners’ testimony.

In her short time as Lord Chancellor, Truss has managed to make a name for herself as, well, pretty cringey.

When her Cabinet position was confirmed, a video of Truss getting passionate about cheese began to do the rounds. Since then the Twitterati couldn’t help but facepalm after she told MPs barking dogs help deter drones from prisons. This week, the MP for South West Norfolk was voted “The Cabinet Clown 2016” in a Twitter poll run by former prisoner and academic Alex Cavendish.

Since it’s New Year’s resolution time, will 2017 spell the end of ‘moron Truss’?

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19 Comments

Anonymous

If there are allegations of domestic violence, have these specific allegations moved to the criminal courts.

Until the Courts start to sanction those who make ‘false’ allegations, then every family court hearing will continue to have them thrown around like confetti.

(9)(1)
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Trumpenkrieg

How is judicial oversight of crossexamination in personam not sufficient to allay concerns? What other civil right of men will be next to be stripped out to please the feminist lobby?

(11)(5)
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Anonymous

Now consider for a second that there are a huge number of cases where the domestic abuse did take place. The reasoning becomes overwhelmingly clear.

The issue, as always, is cuts to legal aid. If every alleged abuser had a lawyer, this wouldn’t be a problem. The fact that male defendants in domestic abuse allegations don’t get legal representation should be what concerns you, but of course Trump supporters are generally rather pro-domestic violence and rape.

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Trumpenkrieg

It is regrettable that you have been drinking the “Trump is a rapist because he engaged in locker room talk on a bus 10 years ago” cool-aid so long and so heartily that you are no longer able to discern fact from fiction.

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Just Anonymous

“Though legal commentators were shocked to learn violent and abusive men are allowed to cross-examine their exes…”

Who says they’re violent and abusive? Surely that’s the very issue the trial (and particularly, the cross examination itself) is meant to resolve?

That said, I do agree that alleged domestic abusers should not be permitted to directly cross-examine their alleged victims. However, such a rule only works if they have guaranteed access, through legal aid, to competent counsel, who can do it for them.

(18)(1)
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Anonymous

Divorce is a nasty business isn’t it ? Domestic violence, child care, financial contributions and splitting the assets. Takes ages.

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Anonymous

If the money that is currently spent on mandatory prosecutions of trivial domestic abuse cases, which have little prospect of success and only burden the already over-worked and disorganised CPS, was put into the legal aid pot then we would kill two birds with one stone.

(6)(0)
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Vincent Price

But we expect false allegations in family law for it is a grand guignol, a carnival of the grotesque, where perjury is de rigeur. Abandon all hope the honest and true for you are doomed. Doomed!

(2)(0)
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Anonymous

Increase the availability and accessibility of legal aid so that qualified lawyers can handle cross examination in a professional manner. Problem solved.

Likelihood of that happening? Zero.

Easier just to ban it or force people to pay from private funds.

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Nick Langford

It is difficult to know how great a problem the cross-examination of women by abusive exes is when the only evidence is anecdotal and supplied by extreme feminist organisations. I do not doubt that it is sometimes a problem, and even an increasing one due to the loss of legal aid, but it is concerning that Truss has caved to this particular pressure so quickly when other groups – including the judiciary – have been raising profound concerns about the family justice system for decades with no discernible response from government. The intention of Women’s Aid and their ilk seems to be to prevent men presenting any sort of a defence to often false allegations.

(3)(0)
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