It can be very frightening giving evidence in court, and even more so if you are a vulnerable or intimidated victim or witness.
The court might decide to give you extra support and protection in different ways. These are known as ‘special measures’ and they include:
- putting screens or curtains around you in the courtroom so you can’t see the defendant
- giving evidence by live video link, so you don’t have to sit in the courtroom
- video recording your interview so it can be played to the courtroom
- video recording your cross-examination in advance and having it played to the courtroom so you don’t have to attend the trial
- asking the public to leave the courtroom while you give evidence
- asking the judge and barristers to remove their wigs and gowns to make the process less intimidating
- getting specialist help to understand questions and communicate answers through registered intermediaries
- additional communication aids
Special measures are not automatically available to everyone. The court might decide they’re needed if you:
- are under 18
- have a mental health disorder
- have a significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning
- have a physical disability or are suffering from a physical disorder
- are suffering from fear or distress in relation to testifying in the case
- are a victim or witness of sexual offences, modern slavery, domestic abuse or certain offences involving guns and knives
- are the victim or witness of a serious crime (for example, a murder or terrorist attack)
What happens next
Find out about the court reaching a verdict and sentencing.
A person who can help you understand what is being said in court. They can also help other people in court understand your answers to any questions.
This is a new website – your feedback will help us to improve it.