Independent legal representation (ILR)

In Scotland, complainers in sexual offence cases are witnesses. Unlike the accused, they have no legal representation. COPFS prosecute in the public interest rather than in the interest of the complainer. In other jurisdictions, such as Denmark, Norway and Northern Ireland, forms of ILR exist which allow the complainer to be legally represented. It has been suggested that ILR could markedly improve the experiences of complainers, especially where applications are made to introduce sexual history and character evidence at trial.

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