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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

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[F1271AChild witnessesS

(1)Where a child witness is to give evidence at or for the purposes of a trial, the child 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 shall, [F2by the required time] , lodge with the court a notice (referred to in this Act as a “child witness notice”)—

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

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

(3)A child 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.

(4)The court may, on cause shown, allow a child witness notice to be lodged after [F3the required time] .

(5)The court shall, not later than 7 days after a child witness notice has been lodged, consider the notice in the absence of the parties and, subject to section 271B(3) 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 child 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 child 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 child 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 child 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 child witness has not expressed a wish to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure,

make an order [F4under subsection (5A) below.]

[F5(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 child 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 child witness notice to be disposed of at that diet; or

(c)in any other case, appointing a diet to be held before the trial diet 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 to give evidence at or for the purposes of the trial,

(b)the party has not lodged a child witness notice in respect of the child witness by the time specified in subsection (2) above, and

(c)the court has not allowed a child witness notice in respect of the child 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 child witness notice in respect of the child witness by such time as the court may specify, or

[F6(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 the trial diet and requiring the parties to attend the diet.]

(8)On making an order under subsection [F7(5A)(c) or (7)(b)(ii)] above, the court may postpone the trial diet.

[F8(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 child witness notice at the hearing or diet; or

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

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

(9)At a [F9hearing 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 child 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 child witness’s evidence, or

(ii)that the child 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 child witness has expressed a wish to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure, that it is appropriate for the child 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 child 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 child witness if the order is made.

(11)A [F10hearing or diet to which subsection (9) above applies] may—

(a)on the application of the party citing or intending to cite the child 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 [F11appointed under subsection (5A)(c) or (7)(b)(ii) above in any case may be conjoined with any other diet to be held before the trial diet in the case.]

(13)A party lodging a child witness notice shall, at the same time, intimate the notice to the other parties to the proceedings.

[F12(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 the trial diet.]

(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 where the place from which the child witness is to give evidence by means of the link is another part of the court building in which the court-room is located,

(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 in conjunction with either of the special measures referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) above.]

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Amendments (Textual)

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)

F2Words 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)

F3Words 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)

F4Words 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)

F5S. 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)

F6S. 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)

F7Words 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)

F8S. 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)

F9Words 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)

F10Words 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)

F11Words 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)

F12S. 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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