Domestic Abuse Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:14 pm on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright Conservative, Kenilworth and Southam 1:14 pm, 2nd October 2019

I am very grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend and I congratulate him on the way in which he is making the case for this very important Bill.

My right hon. and learned Friend has talked about the confidence that we need to give domestic abuse victims in the experience they are likely to have within the criminal justice system. He is right to highlight special measures, and I know he will also talk about preventing defendants from cross-examining complainants.

In relation to special measures, may I ask him to consider something that he and I know has worked well elsewhere—not just pre-recorded examination in chief but pre-recorded cross-examination? The benefit, as we know, is not just the complainant’s ability to get their part in the case out of the way altogether—dealing with the point about delay that Anna Soubry made—but that it very often causes the defendant to recognise the position that he, and it often is he, is in and to plead guilty early.