Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland told the House of Commons yesterday that, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, his local refuge had an 80% increase in referrals in one week. Calls to the local helpline increased by nearly 30%.

The Law Society says the Domestic Abuse Bill must go further than it does to protect victims as the proposed legislation passed a significant stage in its path to becoming law. The bill had its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. It will now be scrutinised by the Public Bill Committee.

The proposed legislation expands the definition of domestic abuse and bans alleged abusers from cross-examining victims in courts. However, the Law Society has called for alleged abusers to be banned from cross-examining certain other witnesses too, such as the couple’s children.

Russell-Cooke family law partner Fiona Read comments in the Law Society Gazette on the potential effect this new bill may have on domestic abuse cases. 

Domestic Abuse Bill 'should ban cross-examination of children' is available to read on the Law Society Gazette's website.

Fiona is a partner and head of the family team in Putney. She has extensive experience in all aspects of family law. Fiona frequently handles cases with an international element and which often involve high value financial settlements in divorce, disputed arrangements with children (including re-location to other countries) pre and post-nuptial agreements and co-habitation and property disputes. She is also noted for her expertise in matrimonial finance work. As an accredited mediator, collaborative practitioner and a family law (both for finance and children) arbitrator, she is a leader in the field of family dispute resolution.