Making the justice system better for victims: consultation - easy read

Easy read summary of proposals in our consultation on improving victims' experiences of the justice system.

A new court for sexual offence cases

There has been a review of how sexual offence cases are managed by the courts.

The review has said there should be a new court to deal with serious sexual offences.

Serious sexual offences are crimes like rape and attempted rape.

The review said:

  • that this new court should be separate from the High Court and the Sheriff Court

These are the courts where trials for serious sexual offence cases take place just now.

  • people working in the new court would have special training about dealing with victims of sexual offences
  • all victims in the new court would have their evidence recorded before the trial

Here are some of the arguments for creating a new court:

  • better training for the people working there
  • better experience for victims
  • cases will be dealt with quicker
  • there is a sexual offences court in New Zealand that is working well

Here are some of the arguments against creating a new court:

  • some people think that serious cases like rape should be heard in the High Court
  • very serious cases – for example cases which involve both rape and murder - would still have to be heard in the High Court

This would mean that not everyone will have access to the special features of a new court.

  • the special features of the new court could be included in the High Court instead of having a new court
  • it might not make much difference in how quickly cases can be heard
  • judges who only work in a new court could lose the experience of other types of cases

The Scottish Government would like to hear your views about creating a new sexual offences court.



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