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Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Equality Impact Assessment

Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Equality Impact Assessment

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ISBN: 9781788519861

An Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for the Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill.

Executive Summary

An Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) was undertaken in connection with the Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill to consider potential impacts across the protected characteristics for the provisions included in the Bill.

The main policy aim of the Bill is to improve how child witnesses, in the first instance, and vulnerable witnesses participate in our criminal

justice system by enabling the much greater use of pre-recording their evidence in advance of a criminal trial.

The Bill will aim to enable the evidence of child and vulnerable witnesses to be taken at an earlier

stage, outwith the court room, to avoid having to endure the stress and anxiety of giving evidence in the formal court environment, allowing them to give their best evidence whilst maintaining the rights of a person accused of a crime. The Bill is

an important step towards achieving the vision of the Cabinet Secretary for Justice that, where possible, child witnesses should not have to give

evidence during a criminal trial.