HC Deb 05 February 1982 vol 17 cc219-20W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Attorney-General whether he will seek to enable victims of alleged rape to give their oral evidence in a court cleared of the press and public, subject to the judge's decision on application, or for her evidence to be given in a written form, and cross examination thereon to be heard in camera.

Mr. Mayhew

I have been asked to reply.

The Advisory Group on the Law of Rape under the chairmanship of Mrs. Justice Heilbron said in paragraph 148 of its report (Cmnd. 6352)— We would not support the drastic step of holding rape trials in camera

My right hon. Friend agrees that it would not be right to make a general exception for rape cases to the rule that criminal proceedings take place in open court, with evidence given orally.