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Vulnerable Witnesses Bill passed 14/05/2019 Legislation to ensure more child witnesses are able to pre-record evidence ahead of jury trials has been passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.

Vulnerable Witnesses Bill passed

Legislation to ensure more child witnesses are able to pre-record evidence ahead of jury trials has been passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.

The Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill will minimise distress and improve the quality of evidence given as it will be recorded at an earlier stage in proceedings for the most serious offences. Once in place, the changes are expected to benefit hundreds of children each year.

“This is a milestone in Scotland’s journey to protect children as they interact with the justice system, and a key part of our wider work to strengthen support for victims and witnesses,” said Community Safety Minister Ash Denham. “Children who have witnessed the most traumatic crimes must be able to start on the path to recovery at the earliest possible stage and these changes will allow that, improving the experiences of the most vulnerable child witnesses, as far fewer will have to give evidence in front of a jury.”
 

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