Friday, March 18, 2016

Is the English Adversarial Process Changing?

Two recent articles in The Criminal Law Review highlight possible changes in the adversarial system in England.

First, new Crown Prosecution guidance allows prosecutors to prepare some vulnerable witnesses before their testimony at trial, although coaching as we know it in the United States remains forbidden. Laura Hoyano, Reforming the Adversarial Trial for Vulnerable WItnesses and Defendants, [2015] 2 Crim. L. Rev. 107.

Second, an article describes recent case law that seeks to make clear that the object of cross-examination is to investigate the truth through clear, understandable questions rather than to so-called ‘put the case’ to the witness or trap the witness in inconsistencies. Emily Henderson, Theoretically Speaking: English Judges and Advocates Discuss the Changing Theory of Cross-Examination,[2015] 2 Crim. L. Rev. 929.

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