december, 2019

04decAll DaySupporting Child Witnesses: Taking Evidence, Mitigating Trauma, Implementing Reform


Event Details

This event examines the first phase of the implementation of the Vulnerable Witnesses Act and any transitional arrangements, and explores the next steps to improve support for child witnesses.

A “milestone” in Scotland’s journey to protect children as they interact with the justice system

In May 2019, the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) Bill. Developed with the support of children’s and victim’s charities, the Bill sets out a presumption that child witnesses will provide evidence through pre-recordings to spare them the trauma of appearing in court.

The reforms are backed by £2 million of funding to create a specialist evidence suite for child witnesses in Glasgow, and upgrades to facilities that support evidence by commissioner in Inverness, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh. These improved facilities will make a real and positive difference to child witnesses and potentially to the quality of their testimony.

Join us at this forward-looking event as we examine the planned implementation of recent legislation and what next steps can and should be taken to improve support for child witnesses in Scotland.  

Key issues that will be addressed with you

  • Scottish Government update on the first phase of the implementation of the Vulnerable Witnesses Act and any transitional arrangements
  • The new facility in Glasgow, and upgrades elsewhere, and how these will mitigate the trauma experienced by child witnesses
  • Effectiveness of the new High Court Practice Note supporting the move to much greater use of evidence by commissioner
  • Joint Investigative Interviewing
  • Examples of good practice in supporting children in the justice system
  • Children’s services, justice agencies, and third sector organisations taking a multi-agency approach to supporting child witnesses
  • Next steps for improving the experiences of child witnesses

Click to book a place on the event –


All Day (Wednesday)


Central Edinburgh - Venue TBC