This Bill proposes changes aimed at improving the experiences of victims and witnesses within Scotland’s justice system, in particular victims of sexual crime. It also makes changes to the criminal justice system to try to improve the fairness, clarity and transparency of the framework within which decisions in criminal cases are made.
Share your views on proposals such as:
creating an office of Victims and Witnesses Commissioner for Scotland
embedding trauma-informed practice in criminal and civil courts
increasing the availability of special measures for vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil court proceedings
changing the size of a criminal jury, rules about majority verdicts and what happens when a juror is dismissed or unable to continue on the jury
removing the not proven verdict
creating a new sexual offences court and setting out how it will operate within the criminal justice system
providing automatic life-long anonymity for victims of sexual offences
giving complainers in sexual offence cases an automatic right to independent legal representation when an application is made to introduce evidence about the complainer’s character
giving power to the Scottish Ministers to carry out a pilot of rape trials conducted by a single judge without a jury.