S28 Hearings Pre-Recorded Cross Examination – 13.08.20

SPECIAL MEASURE:

Those practitioners who are involved in cases with vulnerable witnesses will be familiar with the use of S28 and the fact that a court may direct that any cross-examination and re-examination of the witness be video recorded and that recording admitted as evidence.

There is to be an increased number of courts where this is available: see table below.

24th AUGUST:

The relevant SI that delivers this increased roll out is set for 24th August.

Any case that has a PTPH on or after the date the CO is in force – in this case 24th August, with a vulnerable victim, will be eligible for the pre-recorded cross examination.

There is a need to address those cases which may be eligible for the measure, but due to an earlier hearing date ie before the 24th August 2020, may so lose that opportunity.

NEXT STEPS –
IDENTIFY A RELEVANT CASE AND SEEK AN ADJOURNMENT OF GROUND-RULES HEARING:

Thus, in order to ensure that cases which are suitable for such a measure are not denied the opportunity of such a measure, counsel is asked to review and identify their cases and seek an adjournment of the ground rules until after the 24th August.

The CPS has been asked to check its case load and we ask all defence practitioners to do so.

We have been told that listing offices are aware of this as an important issue and so we urge all counsel to give assistance on this matter.

For the avoidance of doubt the courts that are directly affected are:

w/c 24th August
Wave 3 CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT London
Wave 3 CROYDON CROWN London
Wave 3 HARROW CROWN London
Wave 3 I.L.S.H. CROWN London
Wave 3 ISLEWORTH CROWN London
Wave 3 SNARESBROOK CROWN London
Wave 3 SOUTHWARK CROWN London
Wave 3 WOOD GREEN CROWN London
Wave 3 WOOLWICH CROWN London
Wave 3 STAFFORD CROWN Midlands
Wave 3 BASILDON CROWN South East
Wave 3 CHELMSFORD CROWN South East
Wave 3 CANTERBURY CROWN South East
Wave 3 GUILDFORD CROWN South East
Wave 3 MAIDSTONE CROWN South East
Wave 3 LEWES CROWN South East

There are already 18 Crown Courts where the S28 procedure is available and this will bring the present total to 34 court centres.

View more news