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Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014

Vulnerable witnesses

Section 13 – Objections to special measures; child and deemed vulnerable witnesses

40.This section amends the 1995 Act to allow any party to criminal proceedings to object to a notice requesting special measures for a child witness or deemed vulnerable witness. Objections cannot be made in relation to standard special measures, which are listed in section 271A(14) of the 1995 Act, and to which child witnesses and deemed vulnerable witnesses are automatically entitled. Such an “objection notice” must be lodged within seven days (or later with the permission of the court) of a vulnerable witness notice being lodged, and must detail the special measures that the party considers inappropriate, along with the reasons for their objection.

41.If a notice under this section is lodged, the court must make an order that the notice must be considered at the appropriate diet (depending on the level of the court). Subsections (b) and (c) make the necessary consequential changes to section 271A(5) of the 1995 Act so that the time limit for the court’s consideration of a vulnerable witness application is extended to take account of the possibility of an objection notice being lodged and to section 271A(13) of the 1995 Act to include intimation by the party lodging the objection notice to special measures to other parties to the proceedings as they do at present in relation to an application for special measures.

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