Investigation and prosecution of sheriff solemn cases: thematic review

The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland's review of the investigation and prosecution of sheriff solemn cases.

Annex B – Victim Information and Advice (Via) Remit

The current VIA remit ensures that victims are provided with information in the following categories of case:

  • Victims in all serious cases, where the nature of the offence merits solemn proceedings. If, however, a case is only to proceed on indictment because of the status of the accused, as opposed to any feature of the victim, that victim will not be eligible
  • The next of kin in cases involving deaths which are reported for consideration of criminal proceedings and death cases where a Fatal Accident Inquiry is to be held
  • The next of kin in all cases where there are likely to be, or it becomes clear after initial investigation, that there will be significant further inquiries, or where, in all the circumstances, it is considered that the assistance of VIA would be appropriate
  • Victims in cases of domestic abuse (not just assault but any incident of a domestic nature e.g. breach of the peace)
  • Victims in cases with a racial aggravation and cases where it is known to the Procurator Fiscal that the victim perceives the offences to be racially motivated
  • Cases involving children (as victims and/or as witnesses)
  • Victims in cases involving sexual offences
  • Cases involving vulnerable witnesses, i.e. witnesses who:
    • have learning difficulties
    • have physical disabilities
    • suffer from mental health problems
    • are Asylum Seekers or witness with language difficulties
    • are terrified of accused and/or of reprisals
    • are victims in cases where sexual orientation or gender identity may give rise to vulnerability
    • Victims of domestic abuse involving abuse by children against their parents or parents against adult children
    • Victims and witnesses over the age of 60.



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