Special measures for the accused
Special measures for the accused

The following Corporate Crime guidance 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
  • Use of an intermediary for an accused
  • Procedure for making an application

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. intermediaries (although the relevant provisions are not yet in force)

Live links for the accused

Following amendment to YJCEA 1999 by the Police and Justice Act 2006, a court can now permit the accused to give oral evidence via a live link (also called a defendant's evidence direction). A live link is defined as any arrangement by which the accused, while absent from the courtroom, is able to see and hear a person in the courtroom and to be seen and heard by the judge or justices, the jury, legal representatives, interpreter or intermediary.

Microphones in the courtroom are set up so that when an advocate or judge is speaking, the camera will pan to enable the witness to see and hear the appropriate person. Advocates should remember to remain seated while asking questions as otherwise the witness will