This report presents findings from a process figure evaluation of a pilot of recorded pre-trial cross-examination (s.28).
This includes analysis of monitoring data collected during the pilot, interviews with practitioners involved and interviews with witnesses.
Section 28 (s.28) of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA) allows vulnerable and intimidated witnesses to video record their cross-examination before the trial. This forms part of a range of measures to support vulnerable or intimidated victims and witnesses (other than the accused) to give their best evidence and help reduce some of the anxiety of attending court. Section 28 was piloted in Leeds, Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Courts from December 2013 for child witnesses under the age of 16 and those eligible for assistance by reason of disability. A process evaluation was undertaken to help understand whether the pilot processes worked as intended and to help inform decisions on whether and how best to roll out s.28 more widely after the pilot.