To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Ministry of Justice paper, Our Commitment to Victims, published in September 2014, what plans she has made to ensure that all publicly funded advocates involved in serious sexual offences have undertaken approved specialist training on working with vulnerable victims; and whether her Department plans to update that training to take account of national roll-out of pre-trial cross-examination for vulnerable witnesses.
The Government is committed to making the process of going to court simpler, easier and more sympathetic to victims. That is why we will roll out recorded pre-trial cross-examination in the Crown Court, to ensure vulnerable victims are spared the trauma of reliving events at trial.
All publicly-funded advocates in sexual offences cases will be required to undertake specialist training on working with vulnerable victims and witnesses. Only advocates who have had the specialist training will be able to be instructed in and undertake sexual offences cases, including those in which video-recording of cross-examination features.