Margot James, MP for Stourbridge, has secured a review into the way in which disclosure is handled in sensitive cases.
During Attorney General Questions in the House of Commons, Margot pressed the Attorney General on the issue of disclosure. Specifically seeking his assurances that her concerns, shared by some women's organisations, that the way in which disclosure is sometimes handled in cases of rape and sexual assault can prevent victims from undertaking counselling would be reviewed.
Having previously met with the Attorney General to discuss this issue, Margot was pleased to secure an inspection by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, to be completed later in the year and announced shortly.
The Attorney General said, "I can reassure my honourable friend [that] the final scoping for the inspection isn't yet complete but it will include examination of a significant number of sexual offences cases to ascertain whether the disclosure of medical records, including where applicable counselling notes, complies with the prosecution's duty of disclosure and policy."
Margot said, "I am thankful to hear there will be an inspection into this issue, to ascertain exactly to what extent the current handling of disclosure in court cases prevents victims of sexual assaults taking up counselling or other forms of treatment, for fear the information will be used during the trial to discredit their testimony. Some women's organisations I have spoken were also concerned about this issue, so I look forward to the inspection, and its full remit, being announced shortly."
Margot James (Stourbridge) (Con): What assessment he has made of the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service inspectorate to review the handling of disclosure in complex cases; and if he will make a statement. 
The Attorney-General (Mr Dominic Grieve): The duty of disclosure is a key part of the criminal justice system and therefore Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service inspectorate has plans to undertake specific work on disclosure. That includes both a focused review of the disclosure of sensitive material in cases involving sexual offences, which is planned for this autumn, and a joint inspection with Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary on complex cases, which is currently being scoped.
Margot James: I am grateful to my right hon. and learned Friend for his answer but I am concerned, as are the British Association of Psychotherapists and the Association of Women Barristers, that the way in which disclosure is sometimes handled in cases of rape and sexual assault affects pre-trial treatment decisions and inhibits victims from undertaking counselling. Will the Minister give me his assurance that those concerns will be addressed by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service inspectorate in the upcoming review that will, I understand, be announced in the next few weeks?
The Attorney-General: I can reassure my hon. Friend. The final scoping for the inspection is not yet complete but it will include examination of a significant number of sexual offences cases to ascertain whether the disclosure of medical records, including, where applicable, counselling notes, complies with the prosecution’s duty of disclosure and policy and the potential impact of any non-compliance. As I hope she will appreciate, although the other part of the disclosure inquiry is particularly about the problems that came out of the south Wales case of Lynette White, those two things are not mutually incompatible.