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Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014

Vulnerable witnesses

Section 17 – Objections to special measures: other vulnerable witnesses

45.This section amends the 1995 Act to allow any party to criminal proceedings to object to a vulnerable witness application requesting special measures for a witness who is not a child witness or deemed vulnerable witness. The process involved is similar to that set out for objection notices in section 13. An “objection notice” must be lodged with the court within seven days (or later with the permission of the court) of a vulnerable witness application being lodged, setting out any objection to the special measures in the application that the party considers inappropriate and the reasons for their objection.

46.If a notice under this section is lodged, the court must make an order that the notice must be considered at the appropriate diet (depending on the level of the court). Subsections (b) and (c) make the necessary consequential changes to sections 271C(5) of the 1995 Act so that the time limit for the court’s consideration of a vulnerable witness application is extended to take account of the possibility of an objection notice being lodged and to section 271C(11) of the 1995 Act to include intimation by the party lodging the objection notice to special measures to other parties to the proceedings as they do at present in relation to an application for special measures.

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