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Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999

Section 18: Special measures available to eligible witnesses

85.Subsection (1) of this section makes the special measures set out in sections 23 to 30 available to all eligible witnesses. The only exceptions are the examination of a witness through an intermediary (section 29) and the use of a communication device (section 30), which are not available to witnesses who are eligible on the ground of fear or distress only. The Act does not affect courts’ common law discretion to make measures available to disguise witnesses’ identities in the wholly exceptional circumstances (such as where a public interest immunity certificate has been granted) where that identity needs to be kept secret in court.

86 Subsection (2) provides that courts will not be able to award any of the special measures until they are notified by the Secretary of State that a particular measure or group of measures is available in their area: this will allow for phased implementation of the measures.

87.The Secretary of State will be able to make new special measures available, and amend or remove others, by orders subject to the affirmative resolution procedure (i.e. the orders will have to be discussed and approved by Parliament) (subsection (5)).

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