Back to top
Article

Witnesses Act for civil cases

19 November 07

With the Vulnerable Witnesses Act now in force for civil cases, the Witness Service is offering certain facilities to such witnesses for an initial six month period

The Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004 came into effect for civil cases in the Court of Session and the sheriff court, including fatal accident inquiries, on 1 November.

For an initial period of six months, the Witness Service will offer certain facilities to witnesses in civil cases in the Court of Session and the sheriff courts who have been identified as being vulnerable in terms of the Act, and referred to the Witness Service by the parties citing them. These facilities include court familiarisation visits, general information and advice and, where appropriate, a supporter to accompany the witness when giving their evidence. After six months, there will be a review of the extent and detail of the Witness Service’s role in civil cases.

Having identified vulnerability, the solicitor should contact the court witness service to discuss and arrange the necessary support. A directory of court based Witness Service offices can be found at www.victimsupportsco.org.uk