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Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004

Section 271F – The accused

28.This section sets out the provisions for allowing an accused, if considered to be vulnerable, to give his or her evidence with the use of a special measure. The provisions of sections 271 to 271M will apply to the accused as a vulnerable witness, but with certain modifications.

29.Section 271 is modified for the accused by amending the factors to be taken into account under section 271(2) in determining vulnerability, including the fact that the accused is entitled to or will have legal representation. The accused is also not entitled to use screens as a special measure for the giving of his or her evidence.

30.In most cases it will not be known whether the accused is to give evidence until the last minute. The modifications made by this section ensure that special measures are considered for the accused in advance of the trial but on a contingent basis.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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