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Volume 23: debated on Friday 14 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will introduce legislation to provide victims of alleged rape the right to separate legal representation to protect their interests in court proceedings.

A major review of the law relating to sexual offences generally is presently being conducted by the Criminal Law Revision Committee in consultation with the policy advisory committee on sexual offences. The suggestion that there should be separate legal representation for victims of alleged rape is one which is to be considered by the Criminal Law Revision Committee. I cannot anticipate the Committee's recommendations, but the Government will be looking very closely at the law in Northern Ireland in the light of the Committee's recommendations and any changes in the law in England and Wales.