EVIDENCE (SPECIAL MEASURES) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I
Preliminary

 

   1   Short title and commencement

   2   Interpretation

PART II
Applicability of Special Measures

   3   Special measures applicable to witnesses

   4   Special measures applicable to evidence of accused in criminal proceedings

PART III
Special Measures

   5   Meaning of "party"

   6   Evidence by live link

   7   Video recorded evidence

PART IV
Evidentiary Issues Regarding Special Measures

   8   Issues regarding evidence given in accordance with special measures

PART V
Providing Evidence by Live Link to Foreign Court and Receiving Evidence by Live Link from Foreign Court

   9   Evidence by live link in civil or criminal proceedings conducted in a foreign state

   10   Application of law for witness giving evidence by live link in proceedings conducted in a foreign state

   11   Application of law for witness giving evidence by live link in proceedings conducted in Jamaica

PART VI
Miscellaneous Provisions

   12   Regulations

 

THE EVIDENCE (SPECIAL MEASURES) ACT

[The date to be notified by the Minister bringing the Act into operation]

Act 12 of 2012.

AN ACT to provide for the admissibility in criminal and civil proceedings and Coroner’s inquests of evidence by the use of special measures, and for matters connected therewith and purposes incidental thereto.

PART I
Preliminary (sections 1-2)

1   Short title and commencement

   (1) This Act may be cited as the Evidence (Special Measures) Act, 2012, and subject to subsection (2), shall come into operation on a day or days to be appointed by the Minister, by notice published in the Gazette.

   (2) Different days may be appointed for the commencement of different provisions of this Act and for different purposes of a particular provision.

2   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act-

   "child witness" means a witness under the age of eighteen years;

   "civil proceedings" means any proceedings, other than criminal proceedings, before-

   (a)   the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal;

   (b)   a Resident Magistrate;

   (c)   a Family Court or a Children’s Court;

   (d)   any other court designated by the Minister by order, for the purposes of this Act; or

   (e)   where applicable, a foreign court pursuant to Part V:

   "Coroner" has the same meaning as “the appropriate Coroner” in the Coroners Act;

   "court" means any court of law in Jamaica, and includes a Coroner exercising jurisdiction under the Coroners Act;

   "criminal proceedings" means criminal proceedings before—

   (a)   the Gun Court, a Circuit Court or the Court of Appeal;

   (b)   a Resident Magistrate on indictment or in the exercise of a special statutory summary jurisdiction;

   (c)   a Family Court or a Children’s Court;

   (d)   any other court designated by the Minister by order, for the purposes of this Act; or

   (e)   where applicable, a foreign court pursuant to Part V;

   "live link" means a technological arrangement whereby a witness, without being physically present in the place where proceedings are held, is able to see and hear and be seen and heard by the following persons present in such place-

   (a)   the judge, Resident Magistrate or Coroner;

   (b)   the parties to the proceedings;

   (c)   an attorney-at-law acting for a party to the proceedings;

   (d)   the jury, if there is one;

   (e)   an interpreter or any other person permitted by the court to assist the witness; and

   (f)   any other person having the authority to hear and receive evidence;

   "medical practitioner" means a medical practitioner registered pursuant to the provisions of the Medical Act;

   "proceedings" means civil proceedings, criminal proceedings or a Coroner's inquest;

   "special measure" means the giving of evidence by a witness in proceedings, by means of a live link or video recording, in the manner and circumstances provided for pursuant to the provisions of this Act;

   "video recording” means a recording on any medium from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes any accompanying soundtrack;

   "witness” means in relation to any proceedings, a person who has given, has agreed to give or has been summoned or subpoenaed by the court to give evidence.

   (2) For the purposes of Part II, a witness is a vulnerable witness if-

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