The justice secretary, Liz Truss (pictured), has arranged an emergency domestic abuse review to investigate ways of banning perpetrators from directly cross-examining their victims within the family court system.

The minister has responded to a Guardian newspaper feature, which exposed how women are being confronted and intimidated by violent men within the secretive court system.

Sir James Munby, the president of the family division, responded to the reports and would welcome a ban on the practice, which is illegal in the criminal courts.

In a statement that appeared in the Guardian, Munby said; “Any ban would require primary legislation and was a decision for ministers. The senior judge said the family courts lagged behind the criminal courts and reform was needed as a matter of priority.”  He went on to say that he was disappointed at the slow response from ministers.

Lisa Broddle, Head of Stone Rowe Brewer’s Family Team, (Solicitor, Collaborative Lawyer and Family Accredited Mediator) agrees wholeheartedly with the view of Sir James Munby, “A victim of domestic violence should not be subjected to cross examination by the violent former partner.”

It is not easy to make a decision about the future for you, your Partner and family. It is important to obtain legal advice, at an early stage, to consider the best way to proceed and to plan all aspects of your future.

If are in a relationship where these issues could affect you, or you know of a friend or family member where domestic abuse could be an issue, we always recommend that you seek help and advice to ensure the right course of action. Please contact Lisa Broddle, who will be able to answer any questions you may have on 020 8891 6141 or e-mail l.broddle@srb.co.uk.