Search Legislation

Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Act 2002

Section 4: Precognition on oath by person accused of sexual offence

17.A precognition is a witness statement made in advance of the trial, which is then transformed into a written report of what the witness said by the person taking the statement. Normally, this is done by an agent or solicitor for one of the parties in the case. However, it would be possible for an accused to take a defence precognition personally.

18.There is no general legal requirement on a witness to supply a defence precognition. However, where a witness declines to do so, a sheriff can require him or her to give a precognition on oath before the sheriff. Such a requirement does have to be complied with. Section 291 of the 1995 Act contains penalties for failure to do so.

19.Section 4 amends section 291 to make it clear that, in line with the ban on conduct of the defence in person, a complainer in a sexual offence case is under no obligation to submit to precognition on oath by the accused in person.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources