Don’t skew jus­tice

Daily Mail - - News -

IT should go with­out say­ing that vic­tims of the heinous crime of rape de­serve our ev­ery sym­pa­thy, and their cases merit the most de­ter­mined ef­fort by po­lice and pros­e­cu­tors.

But it is equally true that the jus­tice sys­tem must never be skewed one way or the other. That, the Mail fears, will be the con­se­quence of the de­ci­sion by Liz Truss, the Lord Chan­cel­lor, to al­low ac­cusers to pre-record their ev­i­dence on video.

Now se­nior lawyers are queu­ing up to warn that the move would be un­fair to de­fen­dants. By pre­vent­ing live cross- ex­am­i­na­tion in court, Miss Truss lim­its the jury’s abil­ity to judge – from body lan­guage and tone of voice – whether they be­lieve the al­leged vic­tim.

Yes, giv­ing ev­i­dence in ad­vance may make the ex­pe­ri­ence of court less har­row­ing for vic­tims. But that is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for tilt­ing the scales of jus­tice un­fairly in one di­rec­tion.

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