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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

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[F1271A[F2Child and deemed vulnerable witnesses]S

(1)Where a child witness [F3or a deemed vulnerable witness] is to give evidence at or for the purposes of [F4a hearing in relevant criminal proceedings], the F5... witness is entitled, subject to—

(a)subsections (2) to (13) below, and

(b)section 271D of this Act,

to the benefit of one or more of the special measures for the purpose of giving evidence.

(2)A party citing or intending to cite a child witness [F6or a deemed vulnerable witness] shall, [F7by the required time], lodge with the court a notice (referred to in this Act as a “[F8vulnerable] witness notice”)—

(a)specifying the special measure or measures which the party considers to be the most appropriate for the purpose of taking the F9... witness’s evidence, or

(b)if the party considers that the F9... witness should give evidence without the benefit of any special measure, stating that fact.

(3)A [F10vulnerable] witness notice shall contain or be accompanied by—

(a)a summary of any views expressed for the purposes of section 271E(2)(b) of this Act, and

(b)such other information as may be prescribed by Act of Adjournal.

[F11(3A)In the case where a vulnerable witness notice under subsection (2)(a) specifies only a standard special measure, subsection (3)(a) does not apply.]

(4)The court may, on cause shown, allow a [F12vulnerable] witness notice to be lodged after [F13the required time].

[F14(4A)Any party to the proceedings may, not later than 7 days after a vulnerable witness notice has been lodged, lodge with the court a notice (referred to in this section as an “objection notice”) stating—

(a)an objection to any special measure (other than a standard special measure) specified in the vulnerable witness notice that the party considers to be inappropriate, and

(b)the reasons for that objection.

(4B)The court may, on cause shown, allow an objection notice to be lodged after the period referred to in subsection (4A).

(4C)If an objection notice is lodged in accordance with subsection (4A) or (4B)—

(a)subsection (5)(a)(ii) does not apply to the vulnerable witness notice, and

(b)the court must make an order under subsection (5A).]

(5)The court shall, not [F15earlier than 7 days and not later than 14] days after a [F16vulnerable] witness notice has been lodged, consider the notice in the absence of the parties and, subject to section [F17271B] of this Act—

(a)in the case of a notice under subsection (2)(a) above—

(i)if a standard special measure is specified in the notice, make an order authorising the use of that measure for the purpose of taking the F18... witness’s evidence, and

(ii)if any other special measure is specified in the notice and the court is satisfied on the basis of the notice that it is appropriate to do so, make an order authorising the use of the special measure (in addition to any authorised by virtue of an order under sub-paragraph (i) above) for the purpose of taking the F18... witness’s evidence,

(b)in the case of a notice under subsection (2)(b) above, if—

(i)the summary of views accompanying the notice under subsection (3)(a) above indicates that the F19... witness has expressed a wish to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure, and

(ii)the court is satisfied on the basis of the notice that it is appropriate to do so,

make an order authorising the giving of evidence by the F19... witness without the benefit of any special measure, or

(c)if—

(i)paragraph (a)(ii) or (b) above would apply but for the fact that the court is not satisfied as mentioned in that paragraph, or

(ii)in the case of a notice under subsection (2)(b), the summary of views accompanying the notice under subsection (3)(a) above indicates that the F20... witness has not expressed a wish to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure,

make an order [F21under subsection (5A) below.]

[F22(5A)That order is an order—

(a)in the case of proceedings in the High Court where the preliminary hearing is yet to be held, appointing the [F23vulnerable] witness notice to be disposed of at that hearing;

(b)in the case of proceedings on indictment in the sheriff court where the first diet is yet to be held, appointing the [F24vulnerable] witness notice to be disposed of at that diet; or

(c)in any other case, appointing a diet to be held before [F25the hearing at which the evidence is to be given] and requiring the parties to attend the diet.]

(6)Subsection (7) below applies where—

(a)it appears to the court that a party intends to call a child witness [F26or a deemed vulnerable witness] to give evidence at or for the purposes of [F27a hearing in relevant criminal proceedings],

(b)the party has not lodged a [F28vulnerable] witness notice in respect of the F29... witness by the time specified in subsection (2) above, and

(c)the court has not allowed a [F30vulnerable] witness notice in respect of the F31... witness to be lodged after that time under subsection (4) above.

(7)Where this subsection applies, the court shall—

(a)order the party to lodge a [F32vulnerable] witness notice in respect of the F33... witness by such time as the court may specify, or

[F34(b)where the court does not so order—

(i)in the case of proceedings on indictment where this subsection applies at or before the preliminary hearing or, as the case may be, the first diet, at that hearing or diet make an order under subsection (9) below; or

(ii)in any other case, make an order appointing a diet to be held before [F35the hearing at which the evidence is to be given] diet and requiring the parties to attend the diet.]

(8)On making an order under subsection [F36(5A)(c) or (7)(b)(ii)] above, the court may postpone [F37the hearing at which the evidence is to be given].

[F38(8A)Subsection (9) below applies to—

(a)a preliminary hearing or first diet, so far as the court is—

(i)by virtue of an order under subsection (5A)(a) or (b) above, disposing of a [F39vulnerable] witness notice at the hearing or diet; or

(ii)by virtue of subsection (7)(b)(i) above, to make an order under subsection (9) F40... at the hearing or diet; and

(b)a diet appointed under subsection (5A)(c) or (7)(b)(ii) above.]

(9)At a [F41hearing or diet to which this subsection applies], the court, after giving the parties an opportunity to be heard—

(a)in a case where any of the standard special measures has been authorised by an order under subsection (5)(a)(i) above, may make an order authorising the use of such further special measure or measures as it considers appropriate for the purpose of taking the F42... witness’s evidence, and

(b)in any other case, shall make an order—

(i)authorising the use of such special measure or measures as the court considers to be the most appropriate for the purpose of taking the F42... witness’s evidence, or

(ii)that the F42... witness is to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure.

(10)The court may make an order under subsection (9)(b)(ii) above only if satisfied—

(a)where the F43... witness has expressed a wish to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure, that it is appropriate for the F43... witness so to give evidence, or

(b)in any other case, that—

(i)the use of any special measure for the purpose of taking the evidence of the F43... witness would give rise to a significant risk of prejudice to the fairness of the trial or otherwise to the interests of justice, and

(ii)that risk significantly outweighs any risk of prejudice to the interests of the F43... witness if the order is made.

(11)A [F44hearing or diet to which subsection (9) above applies] may—

(a)on the application of the party citing or intending to cite the F45... witness in respect of whom the diet is to be held, or

(b)of the court’s own motion,

be held in chambers.

(12)A diet [F46appointed under subsection (5A)(c) or (7)(b)(ii) above in any case may be conjoined with any other diet to be held before [F47the hearing at which the evidence is to be given].]

(13)A party lodging a [F48vulnerable] witness notice [F49or an objection notice] shall, at the same time, intimate the notice to the other parties to the proceedings.

[F50(13A) In subsections (2) and (4) above, “the required time” means—

(a)in the case of proceedings in the High Court, no later than 14 clear days before the preliminary hearing;

(b)in the case of proceedings on indictment in the sheriff court, no later than 7 clear days before the first diet;

(c)in any other case, no later than 14 clear days before [F51the hearing at which the evidence is to be given].]

(14)In this section, references to a standard special measure are to any of the following special measures—

(a)the use of a live television link in accordance with section 271J of this Act F52...

(b)the use of a screen in accordance with section 271K of this Act, and

(c)the use of a supporter in accordance with section 271L of this Act F53...

[F54(15)The Scottish Ministers may, by order subject to the affirmative procedure—

(a)modify subsection (14),

(b)in consequence of any modification made under paragraph (a)—

(i)prescribe the procedure to be followed when standard special measures are used, and

(ii)so far as is necessary, modify sections 271A to 271M of this Act.]]

Textual Amendments

F1Ss. 271-271M and preceding cross-heading substituted for s. 271 (1.4.2005, 30.11.2005, 1.4.2006. 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 3), ss. 1, 25; S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2005/590, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F7Words in s. 271A(2) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(a); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F13Words in s. 271A(4) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(b); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F21Words in s. 271A(5) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(c); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F22S. 271A(5A) inserted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(d); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)) S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F34S. 271A(7)(b) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(e); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F36Words in s. 271A(8) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(f); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F38S. 271A(8A) inserted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(g); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F39Word in s. 271A(8A)(a)(i) substituted (1.9.2015) by Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 (asp 1), ss. 11(4)(i)(i), 34; S.S.I. 2015/200, art. 2(2), sch. (with arts. 1(3), 4)

F41Words in s. 271A(9) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(h); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F44Words in s. 271A(11) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(i); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F46Words in s. 271A(12) substituted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(j); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

F50S. 271A(13A) inserted (1.4.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 5), ss. 25, 27(1), Sch. para. 43(k); S.S.I. 2004/405, art. 2(2), Sch. 2 (with savings in arts. 3-5); S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4(1)); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 271-271M applied by Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 7), s. 15A (as inserted (1.4.2005, 30.11.2005, 1.4.2006, 1.4.2007 and 2.7.2007 for certain purposes and otherwise 1.4.2008) by Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 3), ss. 3, 25; S.S.I. 2005/168, art. 2, Sch. (with savings in art. 4); S.S.I. 2005/590, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2006/59, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/101, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4); S.S.I. 2007/329, art. 2, Sch. (with art. 4)); S.S.I. 2008/57, art. 2 (with art. 3)

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