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Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999

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17 Witnesses eligible for assistance on grounds of fear or distress about testifying.E+W
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)For the purposes of this Chapter a witness in criminal proceedings (other than the accused) is eligible for assistance by virtue of this subsection if the court is satisfied that the quality of evidence given by the witness is likely to be diminished by reason of fear or distress on the part of the witness in connection with testifying in the proceedings.

(2)In determining whether a witness falls within subsection (1) the court must take into account, in particular—

(a)the nature and alleged circumstances of the offence to which the proceedings relate;

(b)the age of the witness;

(c)such of the following matters as appear to the court to be relevant, namely—

(i)the social and cultural background and ethnic origins of the witness,

(ii)the domestic and employment circumstances of the witness, and

(iii)any religious beliefs or political opinions of the witness;

(d)any behaviour towards the witness on the part of—

(i)the accused,

(ii)members of the family or associates of the accused, or

(iii)any other person who is likely to be an accused or a witness in the proceedings.

(3)In determining that question the court must in addition consider any views expressed by the witness.

(4)Where the complainant in respect of a sexual offence [F1or an offence under [F2section 1 or 2 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015]] is a witness in proceedings relating to that offence (or to that offence and any other offences), the witness is eligible for assistance in relation to those proceedings by virtue of this subsection unless the witness has informed the court of the witness’ wish not to be so eligible by virtue of this subsection.

[F3(5)A witness in proceedings relating to a relevant offence (or to a relevant offence and any other offences) is eligible for assistance in relation to those proceedings by virtue of this subsection unless the witness has informed the court of the witness's wish not to be so eligible by virtue of this subsection.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (5) an offence is a relevant offence if it is an offence described in Schedule 1A.

(7)The Secretary of State may by order amend Schedule 1A.]

Textual Amendments

F2Words in s. 17(4) substituted (31.7.2015) by Modern Slavery Act 2015 (c. 30), ss. 46(2), 61(1); S.I. 2015/1476, reg. 2(e) (with regs. 3, 6, 8)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1S. 17 wholly in force at 24.7.2002; Pt. II Chs. 1-4 (ss. 16-52) in force for certain purposes at Royal Assent, see s. 68(4); s. 17 in force in so far as not already in force at 24.7.2002 by S.I. 2002/1739, art. 2(a)

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