To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken as a result of the recommendation made in the Hutton review of forensic pathology in England and Wales, submitted to the Minister of State for Crime and Prevention in March 2015, that (a) the Criminal Procedure Rules should be vigorously enforced in order to avoid costly and unnecessary challenges by experts for the prosecution and the defence in court and (b) the provision for a judge to allow experts to give evidence via video link could be utilised in order to encourage more-sub-speciality medical experts to engage in the criminal justice process.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Courts are responsible for adhering to the Criminal Procedure Rules and the Home Office has made them aware of this recommendation in the Hutton Review. All Home Office pathologists are trained and aware of their obligations in this regard.
The decision to allow video links in court is for the Judge on application from the CPS on a case-by-case basis. The Home Office has made both the police service and the CPS aware of this recommendation in the Hutton Report and ensured that the use of such technology is discussed as part of Senior Investigation Officer training.