UK: Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses, and guidance on using special measures

Summary: The purpose of this guidance is to assist those responsible for conducting video-recorded interviews with vulnerable, intimidated and significant witnesses, as well as those tasked with preparing and supporting witnesses during the criminal justice process. The guidance incorporates best practice from local areas and the expertise of practitioners, charities and voluntary groups who support victims and witnesses at a local level.

The first edition of this guidance, issued in 2002, replaced the Memorandum of Good Practice as the special measures provisions in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 were implemented. The second edition was published in 2007 to update the guidance as a result of developments including reform of the law of evidence on bad character and hearsay in the Criminal Justice Act 2003: the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the national roll-out of the police/Crown Prosecution Service Witness Care Units.

This third edition has been published to take account of changes to the special measures provisions as a result of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, the ACPO (2010) “Advice on the Structure of Visually Recorded Interviews with Witnesses” and aims to improve the quality of video recorded statements.




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