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Support for vulnerable witnesses, 22/08/08 [S]

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini today met key representatives from across the justice system to help make sure vulnerable witnesses get the support they need.

This meeting is intended to make sure everyone involved in the justice system is complying fully and comprehensively with the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004.

Children under 16 have an automatic right to certain "standard" special measures and adult vulnerable witnesses may access special measures if they are suffering from a mental disorder or where there is a significant risk of the quality of their evidence being diminished because of fear or distress in connection with giving evidence.

The special measures are:

Giving evidence via a live television link
Using a prior statement as evidence in chief (not in civil proceedings)
Using a screen in court
Giving evidence to a commissioner
The use of a supporter

Further Information

Support for vulnerable witnesses