Violence Against Women and Girls: Prosecution Rates

Part of Attorney General – in the House of Commons at on 9 May 2024.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill Chair, Justice Committee, Chair, Justice Committee

The Attorney General rightly refers to the work done in relation to domestic violence. The most serious offences of violence against women and girls are rape and serious sexual offences. As she will know, there are concerns that once victims have come forward, there are delays in their cases being heard, largely because of the difficulty in getting suitably experienced barristers to prosecute them. Does she accept that one of the main drivers of that is the fact that legal aid fees were increased for defence barristers, but prosecution fees have lagged behind? There is a gap of around £500 in the brief fee between prosecuting and defending. Does she agree that we must plug that gap urgently, to get suitable counsel prosecuting as well as defending those cases?