Covid-19: Backlog of Cases

Part of Attorney General – in the House of Commons on 10th December 2020.

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Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Attorney-General

I wish the hon. Lady a happy birthday and thank her for her kind wishes, but I have to disagree with the premise of her question.

Of course, the Government take very seriously the challenges faced by vulnerable victims, particularly at this difficult time, and we acknowledge there are challenges and strains in the court system. That is why, earlier this year, the CPS introduced the interim charging protocol with the police, which prioritised high-harm cases, including those with victims of domestic abuse or serious violence. That has enabled a slower decrease or fall in the prosecutions of those cases.

We have also seen the roll-out of section 28 in 18 courts since February, and, as of 23 November, throughout 82 Crown courts. That is a real benefit for vulnerable victims who are going through the traumatic experience of giving evidence in domestic abuse cases and on sexual violence matters.