Legal Aid

MoJ pilot on pre-recorded cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses

PUBLISHED December 2, 2013

Guidance on claims for section 28 pilot cases available 
The Ministry of Justice has been working with partners in the Criminal Justice System to look at the issues around implementing Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. 
This would allow for recorded pre-trial cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in cases where:
  • there may be a delay in the holding of the trial; or 
  • the nature of the case is such that the witness could be cross-examined in advance of trial.

MoJ pilot

The Government will carry out a pilot of section 28 in three Crown Court locations ? Liverpool, Leeds and Kingston-Upon-Thames.
Work will start by the end of 2013 to identify new cases that could be included in the pilot. The pilot will run for a period of six months. 
It will be followed by an assessment period after which it will be decided how best to take this measure forward.

Guidance for litigators and advocates 

The Legal Aid Agency has now published guidance for litigators and advocates who are instructed in section 28 pilot cases.

This confirms that days spent in pre-trial cross-examination will be treated as days of trial for the purposes of graduated fee scheme payments

Further information

Justice website: