A handpicked panel of specialist judges will in future be responsible for trying sensitive cases where at least one witness is deemed vulnerable due to their age or circumstances.
The plan, to be announced today by Lord Judge, comes as children’s charities expressed concern about comments made by those involved in the prosecution of the paedophile Neil Wilson.
Wilson, 41, was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London earlier this week.
Robert Colover, prosecuting, had said his young victim was “predatory in all her actions”, and Judge Nigel Peters said he had taken into account the fact that she looked older than she was.
He told Wilson: “On these facts (that were put before the court), the girl was predatory and was egging you on. That is no defence when dealing with children but I am prepared to impose a suspension.”
The remarks prompted outrage from charities and campaigners, while the Crown Prosecution Service admitted the prosecutor’s language was “inappropriate”.
Alan Wardle, head of corporate affairs at the NSPCC, said the case was part of a wider pattern of how child sexual abuse cases were treated in the courts.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It was completely inappropriate language and it was quite clear in the case the predator was the man who was in the dock, not a 13-year-old child.
“And it’s quite clear that a 13-year-old child cannot be complicit in her own abuse.
More than 4,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the CPS to investigate the language used by Prosecutor Robert Colover, who described a 13-year-old victim of sexual abuse as “predatory”.
The petition, which was started by a woman named Jo who describes herself as a “survivor of childhood sexual abuse”, stated: “It’s unacceptable that the Crown Prosecutor – the person who this young girl was relying on to help get her justice – used this kind of language in court.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has criticised a barrister acting on its behalf for describing a 13-year-old sex abuse victim in court as “predatory”.
Robert Colover also called the girl “sexually experienced”. The CPS said his language had been “inappropriate”.
The CPS said it would not instruct Mr Colover in any cases of sexual offences while it considered his situation.