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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

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Changes over time for: Cross Heading: Evidence relating to sexual offences

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Version Superseded: 01/11/2002

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Point in time view as at 17/12/2001. This version of this cross heading contains provisions that are not valid for this point in time. Help about Status

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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, Cross Heading: Evidence relating to sexual offences is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 20 September 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Evidence relating to sexual offencesS

274 Restrictions on evidence relating to sexual offences.S

(1)In any trial of a person on any charge to which this section applies, subject to section 275 of this Act, the court shall not admit, or allow questioning designed to elicit, evidence which shows or tends to show that the complainer—

(a)is not of good character in relation to sexual matters;

(b)is a prostitute or an associate of prostitutes; or

(c)has at any time engaged with any person in sexual behaviour not forming part of the subject matter of the charge.

(2)This section applies to a charge of committing or attempting to commit any of the following offences, that is to say—

(a)rape;

(b)sodomy;

(c)clandestine injury to women;

(d)assault with intent to rape;

(e)indecent assault;

(f)indecent behaviour (including any lewd, indecent or libidinous practice or behaviour);

(g)an offence under section 106(1)(a) or 107 of the M1Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 (unlawful sexual intercourse with mentally handicapped female or with patient); F1. . .

(h)an offence under any of the following provisions of the M2Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995—

(i)sections 1 to 3 (incest and related offences);

(ii)section 5 (unlawful sexual intercourse with girl under 13 or 16);

(iii)section 6 (indecent behaviour toward girl between 12 and 16);

(iv)section 7(2) and (3) (procuring by threats etc.);

(v)section 8 (abduction and unlawful detention);

(vi)section 13(5) (homosexual offences) [F2; or

(j)an offence under section 1 or 2 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 (asp 13) involving—

(i)conduct constituting any of the offences mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (h) above; or

(ii)an act committed outwith Scotland which, if committed in Scotland, would constitute any of those offences.]

(3)In this section “complainer” means the person against whom the offence referred to in subsection (2) above is alleged to have been committed.

(4)This section does not apply to questioning, or evidence being adduced, by the Crown.

Textual Amendments

F1Word in s. 274(2)(g) repealed (17.12.2001) by 2001 asp 13, s. 10(a); S.S.I. 2001/456, art. 2

F2S. 274(2)(j) and word preceding it inserted (17.12.2001) by 2001 asp 13, s. 10(b); S.S.I. 2001/456, art. 2

Marginal Citations

275 Exceptions to restrictions under section 274.S

(1)Notwithstanding section 274 of this Act, in any trial of an accused on any charge to which that section applies, where the court is satisfied on an application by the accused—

(a)that the questioning or evidence referred to in subsection (1) of that section is designed to explain or rebut evidence adduced, or to be adduced, otherwise than by or on behalf of the accused;

(b)that the questioning or evidence referred to in paragraph (c) of that subsection—

(i)is questioning or evidence as to sexual behaviour which took place on the same occasion as the sexual behaviour forming the subject matter of the charge; or

(ii)is relevant to the defence of incrimination; or

(c)that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to exclude the questioning or evidence referred to in that subsection,

the court shall allow the questioning or, as the case may be, admit the evidence.

(2)Where questioning or evidence is or has been allowed or admitted under this section, the court may at any time limit as it thinks fit the extent of that questioning or evidence.

(3)Any application under this section shall be made in the course of the trial but in the absence of the jury, the complainer, any person cited as a witness and the public.

Valid from 01/11/2002

[F3275A Disclosure of accused’s previous convictions where court allows questioning or evidence under section 275S

(1)Where, under section 275 of this Act, a court on the application of the accused allows such questioning or admits such evidence as is referred to in section 274(1) of this Act, the prosecutor shall forthwith place before the presiding judge any previous relevant conviction of the accused.

(2)Any conviction placed before the judge under subsection (1) above shall, unless the accused objects, be—

(a)in proceedings on indictment, laid before the jury;

(b)in summary proceedings, taken into consideration by the judge.

(3)An extract of such a conviction may not be laid before the jury or taken into consideration by the judge unless such an extract was appended to the notice, served on the accused under section 69(2) or, as the case may be, 166(2) of this Act, which specified that conviction.

(4)An objection under subsection (2) above may be made only on one or more of the following grounds—

(a)where the conviction bears to be a relevant conviction by virtue only of paragraph (b) of subsection (10) below, that there was not a substantial sexual element present in the commission of the offence for which the accused has been convicted;

(b)that the disclosure or, as the case may be, the taking into consideration of the conviction would be contrary to the interests of justice;

(c)in proceedings on indictment, that the conviction does not apply to the accused or is otherwise inadmissible;

(d)in summary proceedings, that the accused does not admit the conviction.

(5)Where—

(a)an objection is made on one or more of the grounds mentioned in paragraphs (b) to (d) of subsection (4) above; and

(b)an extract of the conviction in respect of which the objection is made was not appended to the notice, served on the accused under section 69(2) or, as the case may be, 166(2) above, which specified that conviction,

the prosecutor may, notwithstanding subsection (3) above, place such an extract conviction before the judge.

(6)In summary proceedings, the judge may, notwithstanding subsection (2)(b) above, take into consideration any extract placed before him under subsection (5) above for the purposes only of considering the objection in respect of which the extract is disclosed.

(7)In entertaining an objection on the ground mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection (4) above, the court shall, unless the contrary is shown, presume that the disclosure, or, as the case may be, the taking into consideration, of a conviction is in the interests of justice.

(8)An objection on the ground mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (4) above shall not be entertained unless the accused has, under subsection (2) of section 69 of this Act, given intimation of the objection in accordance with subsection (3) of that section.

(9)In entertaining an objection on the ground mentioned in paragraph (d) of subsection (4) above, the court shall require the prosecutor to withdraw the conviction or adduce evidence in proof thereof.

(10)For the purposes of this section a “relevant conviction” is, subject to subsection (11) below—

(a)a conviction for an offence to which section 288C of this Act applies by virtue of subsection (2) thereof; or

(b)where a substantial sexual element was present in the commission of any other offence in respect of which the accused has previously been convicted, a conviction for that offence,

which is specified in a notice served on the accused under section 69(2) or, as the case may be, 166(2) of this Act.

(11)A conviction for an offence other than an offence to which section 288C of this Act applies by virtue of subsection (2) thereof is not a relevant conviction for the purposes of this section unless an extract of that conviction containing information which indicates that a sexual element was present in the commission of the offence was appended to the notice, served on the accused under section 69(2) or, as the case may be, 166(2) of this Act, which specified that conviction.]

Valid from 01/11/2002

[F3275B Provisions supplementary to sections 275 and 275AS

(1)An application for the purposes of subsection (1) of section 275 of this Act shall not, unless on special cause shown, be considered by the court unless made not less than 14 clear days before the trial diet.

(2)Where—

(a)such an application is considered; or

(b)any objection under subsection (2) of section 275A of this Act is entertained,

during the course of the trial, the court shall consider that application or, as the case may be, entertain that objection in the absence of the jury, the complainer, any person cited as a witness and the public.]

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