Sydney - Lawyers would be prevented from intimidating the plaintiff in a rape trial under changes flagged by the top law officer in Australia's biggest state.
"I'm anxious to see that process is concluded as soon as possible," NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said Wednesday.
The proposed changes follow public outrage over an alleged rape victim being cross-examined for three days by Sydney barrister Tania Evers.
The girl was 13 when the sexual assault allegedly took place.
The judge hearing the case repeatedly warned Evers about her aggressive questioning. The judge finally aborted the trial, forcing the prospect of the girl undergoing a retrial later in the year.
"We've been encouraging the Bar to come up with rules that I would believe make a significant difference to stop behaviour which can involve re-traumatizing a victim," Hatzistergos said.
Rape Crisis Centre spokeswoman Karen Willis said Evers was trying to wear down the plaintiff.
"It's about getting the person to a stage where they're not capable because they are so stressed," Willis said. "Then a person makes a mistake and that's used to say, 'she's an unreliable witness, she is obviously a liar.'" (dpa)
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