Defence barristers can not be allowed re-victimise rape trial witnesses - Victims Rights Alliance

Defence barristers can not be allowed re-victimise rape trial witnesses - Victims Rights Alliance
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Update 11.30am: Defence barristers can not be allowed to re-victimise rape trial witnesses.

The Victims Rights Alliance is calling for changes to the justice system making it easier for complainants.

It is backing a new report from the Rape Crisis Network which wants evidence pre-recorded and shorter waiting times for cases to be heard.

Maria McDonald, founder of the Victims Rights Alliance, says the rights of the accused need to be balanced with the rights of the complainant.

She said: "For so long we have always focused on the rights of the accused.

"When the defence barrister may be cross-examining a victim, they have to do it in a respectful way and they can not victimise a victim during that process.

Earlier: Rape victims should have evidence pre-recorded to save courtroom trauma - Report

Rape victims should have their evidence pre-recorded to save them trauma in the courtroom.

A new report out today claims to have come up with ways to protect vulnerable witnesses while offering a fair trial for defendants.

It was put together by a number of groups including the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland.

They want to pilot a range of changes which would also speed up the length of time between making a complaint and a case going to court.

- Digital Desk

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