Liz Truss to ban 'humiliating' questioning of women by abusive exes in court

Posted On: 
12th February 2017

Victims of domestic abuse will no longer face the “humiliating” ordeal of being questioned by their former partner in court, Liz Truss is set to announce.

Liz Truss has branded the family court practice "appalling"
Credit: 
PA Images

The Justice Secretary is rushing through a change in the law after research found a quarter of women in family court cases have been quizzed by an abusive ex.

Such practice is outlawed in criminal cases but continues in the family court - where many domestic violence trials take place.

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Judges have the power to conduct the cross examination on behalf of an alleged abuser not represented by a lawyer, but according to the Sun on Sunday a new change will go further.

Under the new regime - in an amendment to the Prisons and Courts Bill due later this month - judges will be able to appoint a legal aid lawyer to stop abusive men doing the questioning.

One participant has no lawyer and represents themselves in eight out of ten family court case - with some victims not eligible for legal aid.

According to Women’s Aid a quarter of women in domestic violence trials have been subjected to questioning by an abusive former partner.

Ms Truss has branded the practice “humiliating and appalling”, and ordered the change after Sir James Munby, Britain’s most senior family court judge, called for reform to the law.