Do I have to face my violent ex-partner in Court? (1)

30 November 2018

A question we are asked all too often by many of our clients whom we represent in relation to injunctions or children related proceedings is will I have to face my violent ex – partner in Court?

All too often victims feel unable to carry on with or issue proceedings for fear that they will have to face or be cross examined by their ex-partners whom they alleged has been violent to them. Liz Truss, the current Justice Secretary has ordered an urgent review into this matter which she described as “humiliating and appalling.”

Whilst the current law is being updated to avoid such a scene it is worth noting steps can be taken at present to minimise the effect and fear of having to attend Court.

Before attending at Court always check with the Court in question whether they are able to offer you a separate waiting room and entrance. Facilities at all Courts vary however most will be able to accommodate your request.

With the vast cuts in Legal Aid, many client’s end up having to represent themselves at hearings however it is worth knowing that you do have the right to someone with you to provide you with support. Mckenzie friends or volunteers from the Public Support Unit (usually based within the Court building) can often be taken in with you for support but cannot speak on your behalf.

Aside from the above, the Court can itself be asked to put in place “special measures” for you such as screens in the Court room to prevent your ex-partner from being able to see you or by allowing you to give evidence via video links from another room. With special measures however the Court does need to be given advance notice of your requirements to allow them to make the necessary arrangements.

If you require any advice or assistance in attending Court for a hearing why not contact our family team…….