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Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Act 2019

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9Report on operation of sections 1 and 5S

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Scottish Ministers must prepare a report—

(a)evaluating whether the amendments made by sections 1 and 5 have helped witnesses participate in the criminal justice system during the review period, and

(b)setting out the next steps that the Scottish Ministers intend to take in relation to—

(i)the commencement of section 1 for any purpose for which it has not yet been commenced by the time the report is prepared, and

(ii)the exercise of the power conferred by section 271BZD of the 1995 Act.

(2)The report must include the following information—

(a)the number of witnesses that section 271BZA of the 1995 Act applied to during the review period (“relevant witnesses”),

(b)the percentage of relevant witnesses whose evidence had, by the time the report is prepared, been taken by a commissioner,

(c)the percentage of relevant witnesses who, having had their evidence taken by a commissioner, had by the time the report is prepared had their evidence used at a trial diet,

(d)the reason that—

(i)the evidence of any relevant witness had not been taken by a commissioner by the time the report is prepared, despite a court having made an order authorising its being taken in that way,

(ii)the evidence of any relevant witness that was taken by a commissioner had not been used at a trial diet by the time the report is prepared.

(3)In preparing the report, the Scottish Ministers must consult—

(a)the Lord President,

(b)the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service,

(c)the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service,

(d)the chief constable of the Police Service of Scotland,

(e)the Scottish Legal Aid Board,

(f)the Law Society of Scotland,

(g)the Faculty of Advocates,

(h)persons or bodies who provide support to child witnesses (within the meaning of section 271(5) of the 1995 Act).

(4)The Scottish Ministers must—

(a)lay the report before the Scottish Parliament, and

(b)make it publicly available,

as soon as practicable after the end of the review period.

(5)In this section—

  • the 1995 Act” means the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995,

  • the review period” means the period of 3 years beginning with the day that section 1 comes into force for any purpose.

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