Judges considering making a reporting restriction order in a Scottish court will have to make an interim order first, under rule changes just made by the Court of Session and High Court.

The new rules, in force from 2 March 2020, are contained in the Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994, Sheriff Appeal Court Rules and Sheriff Court Rules Amendment) (Reporting Restrictions) 2020, and the Act of Adjournal (Criminal Procedure Rules 1996 Amendment) (Miscellaneous) 2020.

The latter rules also amend chapter 22 of the Criminal Procedure Rules so that applications for review of arrangements for vulnerable witnesses may be determined with, or without, a hearing; and it will no longer be necessary for a witness who is to give evidence in chief in the form of a prior statement to be called before the evidence is given.


The amendments to Chapter 56 have the effect of requiring that where the judge or court, as the case may be, is considering making a reporting restriction order then an interim order must always be made first.


Forms 40.2 and 40.3 are substituted so that the minuter is required to provide detailed information in a structured format when seeking to raise a compatibility issue or a devolution issue.


This Act of Sederunt comes into force on 2 March 2020.