Section 271E – Vulnerable witnesses: supplementary provision
26.Subsections (1) to (3) require the party calling the witness and the court in determining a special measures order to consider the best interests and views of the witness when deciding the special measure most appropriate for the purpose of taking the evidence. With regard to child witnesses the views of the child’s parent are also to be considered unless that person is the accused.
27.This section ensures that children over 12 are presumed to be able to give a view and in the case of children under 12, the age and maturity of the child is to be considered in determining whether they can express a view on the special measures to be used. In the event that the views of the child and the parent differ, then the views of the child are to be given greater weight.