Criminal Proceedings: Witnesses

Attorney General written question – answered on 14th September 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Attorney General, what advice is given to prosecutors about the appropriateness of applying for a witness summons in a criminal case; whether there are (a) indicators and (b) factors that would make it more or less appropriate to apply for such a summons; and what evidence prosecutors are advised to pass on to the court to enable the court to decide whether a witness summons is appropriate.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will only apply for a witness summons in order to secure the attendance of a witness where it is necessary and appropriate to do so.

A witness summons application will be based on the specific facts of the case. Prosecutors will carefully consider whether a summons is in the public interest, taking proper account of any specific vulnerability, disability or mental health issues on the part of the witness. Prosecutors seek advice from the police, and any relevant specialist support services, to assist in assessing the appropriateness of such an application to ensure that the witness and any dependents will not be endangered by the decision nor caused any unnecessary distress.

A prosecutor will submit to the Court all relevant information including any medical report, risk assessment or advice from police or specialist support services.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No2 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.