Special measures for the accused

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Special measures for the accused
  • The accused's eligibility for special measures
  • Live links for the accused
  • Discharging a live link direction
  • Procedure for making an application for a live link direction
  • Use of an intermediary for an accused
  • Procedure for making an application for a defendant to be assisted by an intermediary

Special measures for the accused

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020) among other measures, makes temporary provision for the extended use of live links and audio links in criminal proceedings. See Practice Notes: Operation of the criminal courts during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Criminal Procedure Rules (CrimPR)—update for Coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as Availability of live links in criminal proceedings during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—checklist. See also Practice Note: Practical guide to remote hearings in the criminal courts during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Practical tips for attending remote criminal hearings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—checklist. For updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the criminal justice system—overview and Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

The accused's eligibility for special measures

Under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA 1999) the court can order a range of measures to assist vulnerable and intimidated witnesses to help them give their best evidence in court. These are known as special measures.

For information on the special measures available to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, see Practice Note: Special measures.

The accused is specifically excluded from eligibility for most special measures, aside from two notable exceptions:

  1. live link, and

  2. the use of intermediaries

The statutory provisions enabling a defendant to

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