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Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003

Section 53 – Provision by Principal Reporter of information to victims

284.Section 53 is a new provision enabling the Principal Reporter to share certain information with victims and certain other categories of approved person about  offence cases referred to the Reporter.

285.Subsection (1)(a) provides that the information has to be requested by the approved person.

286.Subsection (1)(b) provides that the Principal Reporter needs to be satisfied that the provision of the information would not be detrimental to the best interests of the child concerned in the case or any other child in any way connected with it and that it is otherwise appropriate to provide the information.

287.Subsection (2) provides that the information that can be conveyed is restricted to the action taken by the Principal Reporter and any disposal of the case, but only insofar as that information relates to the offence rather than to any wider issues in the child’s life

288.Subsection (3) details those classes of person with whom the Principal Reporter may share the information.  The victim of the offence is the primary intended recipient of the information.  Where the victim is a child under the age of eighteen, then the information can be shared with someone who is a “relevant person” in relation to that child.  In addition, it is recognised that other third parties may have a genuine requirement to receive such information directly from the Principal Reporter.  Scottish Ministers may therefore designate other persons or groups of persons as being approved persons for the purposes of this section.  For example, it is intended that those persons making a determination as to whether to pay compensation to the victim in respect of any loss injury or damage suffered as a result of the offence and agencies providing counselling and advice services to victims will be among the third parties approved by Scottish Ministers for this purpose.  When specifying approved parties, Ministers may impose conditions on the authorisation to receive information.  For example, detailed conditions relating to the confidential handling of the information could be laid down in the order.

289.The definition of child for the purposes of these provisions is a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.

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