The Act makes provision for a video-recorded interview with a child to be admissible as evidence in court, but children will still have to be available for cross-examination either in open court, or much more likely via a live video link or from behind a screen. The NSPCC has seen many cases collapse as a result of children breaking down in all three situations and demands further action to spare them this ordeal.
We are calling for children to be able to give evidence at a pre-trial hearing in judges' chambers and for that hearing to be video-recorded so that the child will never have to appear in court.
Meanwhile, measures should be taken to: reduce the long delays before a case comes to trial; ensure the availability of video-link facilities in all courtrooms; and to end the use of wigs and gowns by judges and barristers.
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