HC Deb 05 July 2002 vol 388 cc626-7W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Solicitor-General what progress has been made in granting access by the victims of crime to prosecution barristers. [64432]

The Solicitor-General

In England and Wales victims will not normally have any contact with prosecuting counsel until the case is listed for trial.

The exception to this rule is cases involving vulnerable or intimidated victims, where a meeting should take place between the Crown Prosecutor and the victim at some time prior to the trial. Prosecuting counsel should wherever possible attend that meeting.

The practice is different in Northern Ireland. There, there is no restriction on the prosecution, or on counsel, from meeting with prosecution witnesses and talking to them about their evidence. The purpose of this is to help the prosecution assess the weight of the evidence available to them.

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