Bar Council welcomes CPS’ new guidelines for prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse

17 October 2013

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has welcomed the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) new guidelines for cases of child sexual abuse, which have been published today. Alongside the guidelines, the CPS has published a 'list of stereotypical behaviour' thought to have a negative impact upon the credibility of young victims, and a joint protocol for information sharing in such cases, which will oblige police and prosecutors to share with, and obtain from, social services, schools and family courts, all relevant information.

Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"We welcome this new approach in child sexual abuse cases, which will act as a further safeguard for vulnerable young people in the judicial system. It is essential to ensure the burden and standard of proof are maintained, but it is right that we look again at perceptions and attitudes in these types of cases to ensure they are governed by evidence, not stereotypes. We must do all we can to protect vulnerable children and young adults and reassure them that if they report crimes they will be taken seriously and treated properly."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. For further information, please contact the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525

2. The  Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad. 

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board.