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.
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.