Pre-Recording Evidence of Child and Other Vulnerable Witnesses

Closed 29 Sep 2017

Opened 29 Jun 2017


This consultation seeks views on proposed reforms to criminal law and procedure to address how pre-recorded evidence is taken from child and vulnerable witnesses.

Why We Are Consulting

The 2016-17 Programme for Government set out the Scottish Government’s plans to work with the senior judiciary, courts and other key partners to progress the recommendations of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s Evidence and Procedure Review, including the necessary steps to enable child witnesses to provide pre-recorded evidence.

This consultation is one of the steps the Scottish Government is now taking as part of an ambitious and progressive overall programme of work to expand the use of pre-recorded evidence for child witnesses. 

The consultation identifies a number of legislative and practical gaps within the current arrangements which may need to be addressed to enable children to give evidence as early as possible in the process and well in advance of the trial.  We are therefore seeking views on potential reforms that could make significant changes to the current process. Although the initial focus of this consultation is primarily on child witnesses, the consultation seeks views on how any reforms could potentially also be rolled out for vulnerable adult witnesses in the future.

Following your response to this consultation, the Scottish Government will consider all responses and decide what further reforms may be necessary to enable the much greater use of pre- recorded evidence whilst ensuring the rights of a person accused of a crime are maintained.

Download the consultation paper.


  • People of Scotland


  • Law and Order