Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART II, GIVING OF EVIDENCE OR INFORMATION FOR PURPOSES OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS - continued

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  CHAPTER II
  PROTECTION OF WITNESSES FROM CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ACCUSED IN PERSON
 
General prohibitions
Complainants in proceedings for sexual offences.     33. No person charged with a sexual offence may in any criminal proceedings cross-examine in person a witness who is the complainant, either-
 
 
    (a) in connection with that offence, or
 
    (b) in connection with any other offence (of whatever nature) with which that person is charged in the proceedings.
Child complainants and other child witnesses.     34. - (1) No person charged with an offence to which this section applies may in any criminal proceedings cross-examine in person a protected witness, either-
 
 
    (a) in connection with that offence, or
 
    (b) in connection with any other offence (of whatever nature) with which that person is charged in the proceedings.
      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) a "protected witness" is a witness who-
 
 
    (a) either is the complainant or is alleged to have been a witness to the commission of the offence to which this section applies, and
 
    (b) either is a child or falls to be cross-examined after giving evidence in chief (whether wholly or in part)-
 
      (i) by means of a video recording made (for the purposes of section 26) at a time when the witness was a child, or
 
      (ii) in any other way at any such time.
      (3) The offences to which this section applies are-
 
 
    (a) any offence under-
 
      (i) the Sexual Offences Act 1956,
 
      (ii) the Indecency with Children Act 1960,
 
      (iii) the Sexual Offences Act 1976,
 
      (iv) section 54 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, or
 
      (v) the Protection of Children Act 1978;
 
    (b) kidnapping, false imprisonment or an offence under section 1 or 2 of the Child Abduction Act 1984;
 
    (c) any offence under section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933;
 
    (d) any offence (not within any of the preceding paragraphs) which involves an assault on, or injury or a threat of injury to, any person.
      (4) In this section "child" means-
 
 
    (a) where the offence falls within subsection (3)(a), a person under the age of 17; or
 
    (b) where the offence falls within subsection (3)(b), (c) or (d), a person under the age of 14.
      (5) For the purposes of this section "witness" includes a witness who is charged with an offence in the proceedings.
 
 
Prohibition imposed by court
Direction prohibiting accused from cross-examining particular witness.     35. - (1) This section applies where, in a case where neither of sections 33 and 34 operates to prevent an accused in any criminal proceedings from cross-examining a witness in person-
 
 
    (a) the prosecutor makes an application for the court to give a direction under this section in relation to the witness, or
 
    (b) the court of its own motion raises the issue whether such a direction should be given.
      (2) If it appears to the court-
 
 
    (a) that the quality of evidence given by the witness on cross-examination-
 
      (i) is likely to be diminished if the cross-examination (or further cross-examination) is conducted by the accused in person, and
 
      (ii) would be likely to be improved if a direction were given under this section, and
 
    (b) that it would not be contrary to the interests of justice to give such a direction,
  the court may give a direction prohibiting the accused from cross-examining (or further cross-examining) the witness in person.
 
      (3) In determining whether subsection (2)(a) applies in the case of a witness the court must have regard, in particular, to-
 
 
    (a) any views expressed by the witness as to whether or not the witness is content to be cross-examined by the accused in person;
 
    (b) the nature of the questions likely to be asked, having regard to the issues in the proceedings and the defence case advanced so far (if any);
 
    (c) any behaviour on the part of the accused at any stage of the proceedings, both generally and in relation to the witness;
 
    (d) any relationship (of whatever nature) between the witness and the accused;
 
    (e) whether any person (other than the accused) is or has at any time been charged in the proceedings with a sexual offence or an offence to which section 34 applies, and (if so) whether section 33 or 34 operates or would have operated to prevent that person from cross-examining the witness in person;
 
    (f) any direction under section 19 which the court has given, or proposes to give, in relation to the witness.
      (4) For the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) "witness", in relation to an accused, does not include any other person who is charged with an offence in the proceedings; and
 
    (b) any reference to the quality of a witness's evidence shall be construed in accordance with section 16(5).
 
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