Pre-recording of cross examination evidence in Leeds Youth Court

Eligible witnesses at Leeds Youth Court are now able to pre-record their cross-examination evidence for the first time, as part of a wider test on using this special measure within the youth court.

This means advocates can now apply for witnesses and victims at Leeds Youth Court to pre-record evidence.

Pre-recording of evidence

Pre-recording of evidence for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses is already available in every Crown Court.  We’re running a test at Leeds Youth Court to review how the process works in the youth court jurisdiction.

The measure allows victims and witnesses of crimes to video-record their cross-examination to play later during trial. The recording takes place as close to the time of the offence as possible while memories remain fresh. We hope this will help victims avoid the stress of giving evidence in a courtroom setting, which many find traumatic.

Whether to pre-record evidence is decided on a case-by-case basis, subject to judicial discretion.

Next steps

Criminal justice partners have developed a protocol for managing cases using this special measure. The protocol will be regularly reviewed by the partners, as it’s applied to live cases.

Our Local Implementation Team – which includes criminal justice partners – will closely monitor the test. We’ll work together to understand what we need to do to successfully support vulnerable witnesses to use this measure.

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