Call to change Jersey courts evidence warnings

The way evidence is handled in Jersey's courts could change under plans being looked at by the States.

Jersey's Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur has proposed amendments to the Criminal Justice Law.

The senator wants judges to decide whether it is necessary to warn juries to treat any evidence with caution.

At present, judges must tell jurors it is dangerous to convict if evidence from a child, accomplice or sex assault victim has not been corroborated.

The Jersey Law Commission has recommended abolishing this rule, as has happened in England, and instead leave it to the judge's discretion.

Senator Le Sueur said he also wanted to make it clear that evidence can be given in the magistrate's court and youth court through a live television link, in the same way as it can be in the Royal Court.

Another recommendation is that no formal proof should be required to establish whether the victim of child pornography is under the age of 16.

The minister said that should be judged from the evidence as a whole.

The States are due to debate the proposals on 6 December.

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