Speaking as Justice Secretary Liz Truss sets up an emergency review to ban domestic abuse perpetrators cross-examining their victims in family court, Greater Manchester Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said:
“The major flaws in the Government’s so-called reforms of legal aid have again been exposed. While it’s good news that the Justice Secretary has listened to campaigners and politicians on this issue, the reality is that this should never happen in the first place.
“The cross-examination of a victim by a perpetrator would not happen in a criminal court, so why is it allowed to happen in civil proceedings? Victims and survivors of domestic abuse have made a brave step in speaking out and the justice system has a duty – legal and moral – to protect them, but ill-thought Government policy is helping perpetuate the cycle of abuse.
“I urge the Justice Secretary to ensure this review is swift to ensure there are no unnecessary barriers preventing victims and survivors rebuilding their lives for themselves and their children.”
Tony is also supporting the ‘Scrap the Fee’ campaign, calling for GPs to abolish the fee domestic abuse victims are being forced to pay for a doctor’s note.
Domestic abuse victims applying for legal aid to have their case heard in court must first prove that they are victims of such abuse. One of the accepted forms of evidence is a letter from a GP, a letter that some GPs charge £75 to provide.