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Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014

Vulnerable witnesses

Section 14– Child witnesses

42.This section amends the current procedures about children giving evidence in the court, set out in section 271B of the 1995 Act, to place greater emphasis on the wishes of the child. Where a child wishes to be present in the court to give evidence, the court must make an order requiring the child to be present unless the court considers that would not be appropriate. Where a child does not express a wish to give evidence in the court, or expresses a wish to give evidence from some other location, the court may not make an order requiring the child to give evidence in the court, unless the court considers that the child giving evidence from a location other than the court-room would result in a significant risk of prejudice to the fairness of the trial or the interests of justice and that that risk outweighs any risk of prejudice to the interests of the child witness.

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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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