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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

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[F1271DReview of arrangements for vulnerable witnessesS

(1)In any case in which a person who is giving or is to give evidence at or for the purposes of [F2a hearing in relevant criminal proceedings] (referred to in this section as the “witness”) is or appears to the court to be a vulnerable witness, the court may at any stage in the proceedings (whether before or after the commencement of [F3the hearing] or before or after the witness has begun to give evidence)—

(a)on the application of [F4any party to the proceedings], or

(b)of its own motion,

review the current arrangements for taking the witness’s evidence and, after giving the parties an opportunity to be heard, make an order under subsection (2) below.

(2)The order which may be made under this subsection is—

(a) where the current arrangements for taking the witness’s evidence include the use of a special measure or combination of special measures authorised by an order under section 271A or 271C of this Act or under this subsection (referred to as the “earlier order”), an order varying or revoking the earlier order, or

(b)where the current arrangements for taking the witness’s evidence do not include any special measure, an order authorising the use of such special measure or measures as the court considers most appropriate for the purpose of taking the witness’s evidence.

(3)An order under subsection (2)(a) above varying an earlier order may—

(a)add to or substitute for any special measure authorised by the earlier order such other special measure as the court considers most appropriate for the purpose of taking the witness’s evidence, or

(b)where the earlier order authorises the use of a combination of special measures for that purpose, delete any of the special measures so authorised.

(4)The court may make an order under subsection (2)(a) above revoking an earlier order only if satisfied—

(a)where the witness has expressed a wish to give or, as the case may be, continue to give evidence without the benefit of any special measure, that it is appropriate for the witness so to give evidence, or

(b)in any other case, that—

(i)the use, or continued use, of the special measure or measures authorised by the earlier order for the purpose of taking the witness’s evidence would give rise to a significant risk of prejudice to the fairness of [F5the hearing] or otherwise to the interests of justice, and

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

(5)Subsection (8) of section 271C of this Act applies to the making of an order under subsection (2)(b) of this section as it applies to the making of an order under subsection (5)(a) or (7) of that section but as if the references to the witness were to the witness within the meaning of this section.

(6) In this section, “current arrangements” means the arrangements in place at the time the review under this section is begun.

[F6(7)This section is subject to section 271B.]]

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, 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)

F4Words in s. 271D(1)(a) substituted (1.9.2015) by Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 (asp 1), ss. 18, 34; S.S.I. 2015/200, art. 2(2), sch. (with arts. 1(3), 4)

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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