HC Deb 15 June 1998 vol 314 c64W
31. Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce measures to increase the protection provided to victims of rape. [44274]

Mr. Michael

Last week my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary published the report of the interdepartmental Working Group on Vulnerable or Intimidated Witnesses which we set up to help deliver our manifesto commitment to provide greater protection for victims, especially in rape trials. The report recommends a wide range of measures designed to provide greater protection to vulnerable or intimidated witnesses from the investigation stage through to the trial. The proposals include the use of screens, live television links, changes in the law to set out more clearly the limited circumstances in which evidence on previous sexual history may be admitted in evidence, and a ban on unrepresented defendants personally conducting cross-examination and power for the judge to clear the public gallery when the witness is giving evidence.

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