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Court witnesses 'should be warned' of questions about sexual history

Witnesses and alleged victims of crime should be warned before they are questioned about their sexual history or previous bad character in court, the country's top prosecutor has proposed.

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has put out proposed guidance for prosecutors on the approach to witnesses or alleged victims giving evidence during the trial process at court to prevent them from being "ambushed".

The updated guidelines follow a number of high-profile cases in which witnesses or alleged victims have suffered during or after the trial process.

Celebrity cook Nigella Lawson, for example, described her experience as a witness in the trial of her ex-husband Charles Saatchi's personal assistants as "mortifying".

Judge allows surgeons to operate on boy who won't eat

A judge has given specialists the go-ahead to carry out exploratory surgery on a teenager who refuses to eat or drink and has lost a "worrying" amount of weight.

Mrs Justice Pauffley ruled that the 16-year-old boy, who has learning difficulties, did not have the mental capacity to make decisions about his medical treatment.

She gave surgeons, who fear he could die, permission to investigate in the ruling at the Court of Protection in London.

The judge said the boy and the hospital where he was being cared for could not be identified.

Charles Taylor: UK jailing 'denies right to family life'

An African warlord who is serving 50 years in a prison in county Durham is reportedly suing the UK Government for denying him the right to a family life.

Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president who is alleged to have eaten the hearts of his enemies, says he is being kept from his wife and 15 children.

The former Liberian president says he is being kept from his family in Africa and is a "breach of human rights". Credit: PA

The 66-year-old was was convicted in 2012 of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers during a civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s that left tens of thousands dead.

He has reportedly lodged legal papers with the United Nations' Special Court for Sierra Leone, claiming that his detention in the UK breaches his human rights.

Conservative MP Dominic Raab said: "If he's successful, it would turn British human rights laws into a laughing stock around the world."

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