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The Vulnerable Witnesses Scotland Act 2004Text and Commentary$
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Laura Sharp and Margaret Ross

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781845860455

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781845860455.001.0001

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Procedure in Criminal Cases

Procedure in Criminal Cases

Child Witnesses

(p.25) 2 Procedure in Criminal Cases
The Vulnerable Witnesses Scotland Act 2004

Laura Sharp

Margaret Ross

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter highlights that child witnesses, i.e. those under the age of 16 on the date of commencement of proceedings, are deemed to be vulnerable by virtue of their age and so automatically entitled to the use of one or more standard special measures. It sets out the different procedures to be followed by the party citing the witness if seeking authorisation for the use of standard or other special measures and the factors to be taken into account and conditions which must be met where the court is considering whether to make an order authorising the use of other special measures or that the child witness is to testify without the benefit of any special measures. The chapter also examines the controversial aspects of further special provision for children under the age of 12 in sexual cases or cases involving violence or injury which presumes that such witnesses will not give evidence from a court building other than in very restricted circumstances and questions if these provisions are compatible with Convention rights.

Keywords:   Child witness, Child witness notice, Standard special measures, Children under 12

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