legal proceedings

This bulletin presents statistics on criminal proceedings concluded in Scottish courts during 2007/08 as well as information on motor vehicle offences and statistics on bail orders and offences.

The bulletin starts by summarising the key points from the statistics, before providing more detailed commentary in the subsequent sections.

Guide designed to minimise barriers people with learning disabilities may face when dealing with lawyers by giving information and advice on good practice in dealing sensitively with people with learning disabilities and their families or carers.

N.B. This resource is no longer available.

The Crown Prosecution Service, the Department of Health and the Home Office have worked together to produce this guidance. The guidance is issued as part of the Action For Justice programme by which the Home Office is coordinating the implementation of the various measures for witnesses recommended in Speaking Up For Justice.

This Act of Scottish Parliament outlines the legislation relating to vulnerable witnesses, such as children, who give evidence in either criminal or civil proceedings.

This statement sets out the Scottish Executive’s policy for changes to the law of evidence and related aspects of court procedure, directed at providing specific help to vulnerable witnesses. It examines how the existing supports available to vulnerable witnesses could be improved.

In the last seven years the number of children locked up on remand has increased by 41%. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says that imprisonment should only be used as a measure of last resort. This report on the overuse of remand for children is based on information gathered from a number of sources: interviews with senior practitioners and sentencers; a literature review of research and statistics; a survey of bail and remand officers; a national seminar. It discusses why the problem has arisen and presents a series of twelve policy and practice solutions.

'Courtroom skills' is suitable for a module or learning opportunity on working in courts. The object aims to: identify messages for effective courtroom practice; develop your understanding of the different roles in courtroom settings; help you manage your authority and role more effectively; develop your skills in negotiating out of court and in giving evidence; develop your knowledge, skills and confidence about cross examination.

The ‘Memorandum of Good Practice on Video Recorded Interviews with Child Witnesses for Criminal Proceedings’ was published in 1992 to provide guidance to police officers and social workers responsible for undertaking video-recorded interviews with child victims or witnesses. The document outlined core principles to be followed when conducting interviews; the video could then be played in court to spare the child the necessity of giving live examination-in-chief.

Research has suggested that people with multiple legal and social problems would benefit from 'case management', a structured process aimed at co-ordinating services and support on behalf of an individual. There is a lack of evidence of effectiveness of case management models in justice settings however case management has been used in other settings and lessons can be learned.

This is a summary article setting out the key points of the main study with the same title to describe and evaluate the current use and operation of safeguarders in Scotland.