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Criminal Procedure Act 1986 No 209
Current version for 1 July 2020 to date (accessed 6 August 2020 at 05:30)
294B Giving of evidence by complainant in prescribed sexual offence proceedings—alternative arrangements
(1) This section applies to evidence given in proceedings (including a new trial) in respect of a prescribed sexual offence.(1A) This section applies (with any necessary modifications) to the giving of evidence in apprehended violence order proceedings (within the meaning of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007) by a protected person in the same way as it applies to the giving of evidence in criminal proceedings by a complainant but only if—(a) the defendant in the proceedings is a person who is charged with a prescribed sexual offence, and(b) the protected person is the alleged victim of the offence.(2) This section does not apply to or in respect of the giving of evidence by a vulnerable person if Division 4 of Part 6 applies to the giving of that evidence.(2A) This section applies in addition to Part 4B, if the complainant is a domestic violence complainant.(3) A complainant who gives evidence to which this section applies is entitled (but may choose not)—(a) to give that evidence from a place other than the courtroom by means of closed-circuit television facilities or other technology that enables communication between that place and the courtroom, or(b) to give that evidence by use of alternative arrangements made to restrict contact (including visual contact) between the complainant and the accused person or any other person or persons in the courtroom, including the following—(i) use of screens,(ii) planned seating arrangements for people who have an interest in the proceedings (including the level at which they are seated and the people in the complainant’s line of vision).(4) If, to enable evidence to be given as referred to in subsection (3), the court considers it appropriate to do so, the court may adjourn the proceeding or any part of the proceeding from the courtroom to another court or place.(5) Despite subsection (3) (a), a complainant must not give evidence as referred to in that paragraph if a court, on its own initiative or on application by a party to the proceeding, orders that such means not be used.(6) A court may make an order under subsection (5) only if it is satisfied that there are special reasons, in the interests of justice, for the complainant’s evidence not to be given by such means.(7) In any proceedings in which evidence is given as referred to in subsection (3), the judge must—(a) inform the jury that it is standard procedure for complainants’ evidence in such cases to be given by those means or use of those arrangements, and(b) warn the jury not to draw any inference adverse to the accused person or give the evidence any greater or lesser weight because it is given by those means or by use of those arrangements.(8) Any place outside the courtroom from which a complainant gives evidence under this section is taken to be part of the courtroom in which the proceeding is being held.(9) If a complainant gives evidence as referred to in subsection (3) in a place other than a courtroom, the court may order that a court officer be present at that place.(10) This section extends to evidence given in proceedings instituted before the commencement of this section, including a new trial that was ordered to take place before that commencement and proceedings that have been partly heard.(11) (Repealed)Note.Part 3B of the Witness Protection Act 1995 provides for alternative arrangements for the giving of evidence by a person who is, or was, a participant in a witness protection program under that Act.