Is a witness statement taken in Scotland a section 9 statement?

15 September 2021

Not reviewed after the date of publication

Question:

We have a case where the offence was committed in England but the victim lives in Scotland. The complainant's statement was therefore taken in Scotland and is not a section 9 statement but a Police Scotland National Standard Statement.

The declaration outlined in such is slightly different to a section 9 statement, however can this statement be tendered in the same way?

Answer:

Section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, outlines the requirements that must be in place for a witness statement to be admissible. Section 9(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 outlines the conditions as:

(a) the statement purports to be signed by the person who made it;
(b) the statement contains a declaration by that person to the effect that it is true to the best of his knowledge and belief and that he made the statement knowing that, if it were tendered in evidence, he would be liable to prosecution if he wilfully stated in it anything which he knew to be false or did not believe to be true;
(c) before the hearing at which the statement is tendered in evidence, a copy of the statement is served, by or on behalf of the party proposing to tender it, on each of the other parties to the proceedings; and
(d) none of the other parties or their solicitors, within the relevant period, serves a notice on the party so proposing objecting to the statement being tendered in evidence under this section:

Section 46(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 outlines that the above criteria applies to statements made in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

'46(1) Section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 (written statements to be used as evidence in criminal proceedings) and section 89 of the said Act of 1967 (false statements which are tendered in evidence under the said section 9) shall apply to written statements made in Scotland or Northern Ireland as well as to written statements made in England and Wales'

The CPS also confirms that statements taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland can be read in the same way as statements taken in England and Wales, provided all the provisions of Section 9 have been complied with. It is therefore our opinion that if the statement used is the Scotland National Standard Statement this would comply with the requirements of section 9 and can be tendered in the same way as a section 9 statement.

A link to the CPS guidance can be found below:

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/admitting-evidence-under-sections-9-and-10-criminal-justice-act-1967

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