Victims and Witnesses – Joint Protocol

13 October, 2021

Victim Support Scotland (VSS), The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS), and Police Scotland recognise the important role that victims and witnesses have in securing effective and efficient justice for the people of Scotland.

This Protocol has been agreed in order to identify best practice and obtain consistency of approach to improve witness engagement and support. We will work together to understand and meet witness needs, treating them appropriately, professionally and with respect at all times. We aim to avoid duplication and confusion so that we can improve certainty around the court experience.

The Protocol governs how we will:

  • share information;
  • arrange for witnesses to see around a court before trial;
  • identify and explore the vulnerability of witnesses;
  • consider the impact this may have on their ability to give their best evidence; and assess what special measures and/or additional support will make a difference