The Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) contains provisions relating to child and adult vulnerable witnesses and, in particular, special measures that can be put in place in certain circumstances.
You may need to seek our approval to use special measures to assist child and vulnerable adult witnesses.
The following special measures are identified as necessary to support the child witness or adult vulnerable witness:
This work will not be classed as unusual, and no prior sanction is needed.
If, however, the work is likely to cost £2,000 or more, you must get sanction under the provisions for incurring unusually large expenditure.
The following special measures are identified as unusual measures:
This work will be classed as unusual work and you therefore need prior sanction (even if the estimated costs do not exceed £2,000).
Sanction requests should contain sufficient information to explain why the measure is needed to help the witness give their best evidence.
We therefore consider all sanction requests made in respect of the vulnerable witnesses legislation to be unusual work and/or unusually large expenditure. We cannot grant retrospective authority for work involving unusually large expenditure as the regulations prevent us from doing so. It is therefore essential that you apply timeously for sanction, or you will not be paid for this work.
If you are the person seeking this special measure, you can seek the costs of the commissioner appointed from the Board if the commissioner is not a sheriff or judge, in which case the Scottish Courts Service meets the costs.
It is also important to include in your sanction request all associated costs such as clerks’ fees, shorthand writers’ fees, accommodation costs and travel costs. Any associated costs not sanctioned timeously cannot be paid for from the Fund.