Ian Cruickshank, convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s Criminal Law Committee, said: “We welcome today's publication of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service Evidence and Procedure Review which sets out its next steps for improving our court system.
“We fully support increased use of new technologies in our courts and wider justice system to make them more streamlined and effective for everyone involved. Over the past year the Law Society has issued new electronic Smartcards to solicitors. The new card acts as an ID but also allows solicitors to use a secure electronic signature and would also enable them to submit court documents electronically.
“Ensuring that vulnerable witnesses and child witness get all the support they need is very important. We would support using recorded statements taken within minutes or a few hours from an event taking place, rather than relying on witness accounts many months or even years after the event. However it will be essential to ensure that evidence can be properly tested and the right for the defence to cross examine a witness to establish the credibility and reliability of evidence will remain necessary even if that is to take place outwith the court itself.
“We look forward to working with our partners in the justice sector in bringing forward improvements.”
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