I am pleased to report that the Ministry of Justice is intending to gather information, and subsequently undertake a research study, on private law cases where direct cross examination of a vulnerable witness by a litigant in person is, or threatens to be, an issue.
They will start by asking family judges at all levels who have such cases in front of them at any stage of proceedings to complete the attached form. I am therefore asking you to assist in the project by ensuring that if such a case comes before you, you complete and return the form to the named HMCTS contact.
The data collection stage of the process will begin next Monday 2nd March and run until the 29th May. The research study will then explore the powers available to manage these cases and seek to establish what else could be considered to support both the management of the cases and protection of vulnerable witnesses.
I very much hope that you will assist in the project by completing the forms in every relevant case and by agreeing to take part in the subsequent research, to which I expect to give my formal approval later this year.
The Court staff will ensure that you have access to the forms and details of the contact and if you have any questions they should be directed to that contact or to my office via Jo Wilkinson (Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for your assistance in this important project.
The Vulnerable Witnesses Data Collection Form: Private Law Family Proceedings form is available to download here.