PDS Advocacy Unit

Recent years have seen a shift in the Courts’ approach to the cross examination of vulnerable witnesses, moving away from adversarial questioning to a more evidence-based approach.

With Stephen Leslie QC as lead, the Public Defender Service (PDS) has successfully implemented this new philosophy. Facilitators were trained and a roll out of authorised exercises deployed to PDS solicitors and advocates throughout England and Wales. We worked successfully with the Bar and Law Society regulators to ensure due diligence and formal registration of our candidates.

As a result, all PDS solicitors and advocates are now fully equipped to deal with all types of hearings involving vulnerable witnesses, and are regularly instructed to represent defendants in these sensitive and difficult cases.