Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill


Outcome: E

A Bill to make provision for the use of special measures for the purpose of taking the evidence of children and other vulnerable witnesses in criminal or civil proceedings; to provide for evidential presumptions in criminal proceedings where certain reports of identification procedures are lodged as productions; to make provision about the admissibility of expert psychological or psychiatric evidence as to subsequent behaviour of the complainer in criminal proceedings in respect of certain offences; to enable the prohibition of the personal conduct of the defence in criminal proceedings in which a vulnerable witness is to give evidence; to make provision about the admissibility of certain evidence bearing on the character, conduct or condition of witnesses in proceedings before a sheriff relating to the establishment of grounds of referral to children’s hearings; to abolish the competence test for witnesses in criminal and civil proceedings; and for connected purposes (SP Bill 5)

Current Status of the Bill

Royal Assent 14 April 2004

Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004

Introduction of the Bill

The Bill was introduced on 23 June 2003 by Cathy Jamieson. 

Bill as introduced:

Accompanying documents:

Preliminary discussion:

Justice 2 Committee

Stage 2


Justice 2 Committee on 2 December 2003

Stage 3


4 March 2004

Bill passed on 4 March 2004

Royal Assent on 14 April 2004

Bill as passed:

Passage of the Bill:

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