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Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Act 2019

Timeframes for vulnerable witness notices

Section 8 – Vulnerable witness notice: lodging deadline

49.Section 8 amends section 271A(13A) by altering the deadline by which a vulnerable witness notice must be lodged. At the time when a party is considering lodging a vulnerable witness notice, it might not yet be clear whether the criminal proceedings will take place in the High Court or the sheriff court or whether they will be solemn or summary proceedings. If that is not known, there will be no certainty as to which of the deadlines set out in section 271A(13A) is the applicable deadline. The effect of the amendment is that a vulnerable witness notice may be lodged at any time before a date has been fixed for a preliminary hearing, first diet or evidential hearing. If it is not lodged before a date is fixed for a preliminary hearing or first diet, it must be lodged no later than 14 clear days before the preliminary hearing or (if it is a first diet) no later than seven clear days before the first diet. If a date is fixed for an evidential hearing in a case where the proceedings are not to take place in the High Court or on indictment in the sheriff court, the notice must be lodged no later than 14 clear days before the evidential hearing.

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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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