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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-02994: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 20 September 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to introduce judicial reform in relation to child witnesses to avoid or reduce the need for them having to give evidence in court.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 29 September 2016

The Scottish Government is committed to improving the experience of children and young people who come into contact with Scotland’s justice system.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s Evidence and Procedure Review made a compelling case for reform, particularly in relation to how child and vulnerable witnesses give evidence in criminal cases. As noted in our Programme for Government, the Scottish Government is working with key stakeholders across the justice system to examine and progress the necessary steps to enable the greater use of pre-recorded evidence, which has the potential to help children and other vulnerable witnesses to avoid the stress and anxiety of appearing in court.