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‘In all family proceedings the lack of appropriate support and assistance for witnesses, whether they are parties, the children and young people or interveners would amount to a denial of justice. Failure to provide sufficient and adequate support for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses whether they are children, young people or adults results in a concomitant failure in their ability to give their best evidence, in turn directly undermining the likelihood of the judge or tribunal reaching a fair decision; it is justice denied.’I would hope that neither the Lord Chancellor nor HMCTS are in the business of denying justice to people. So the only conclusion is that support must be given to enable a fair decision to be reached. Regrettably, the report did not go so far as to recommend the funding of an advocate to cross-examine vulnerable witnesses.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure