Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill will address a conference to be held at Tulliallan Police College, with an audience including the Lord Advocate, the charity Children First and solicitors, sheriffs, social workers and police to discuss the implementation of the Vulnerable Witnesses Act.
They will also consider whether anything more needs to be done to ensure vulnerable witnesses receive the special measures, including the use of screens and giving evidence by live TV link, they are entitled to.
"Our justice system relies on those who, often through no more than a quirk of fate, have been witness to a crime. For many people, giving evidence in court can be a stressful experience, but for children and vulnerable adults it can be especially traumatic," MacAskill said.
"That's why we need to make sure they receive the support and assistance they need to give their best evidence. The Vulnerable Witnesses Act put in place a number of special measures, such as giving evidence by TV link, designed to make this happen,"
"The challenge now is to make sure that they are used consistently across Scotland and that everyone involved in the Justice system plays their role in making this happen.
"That's why we've organised this conference and I'm pleased that we've got people from across the range of interests due to attend. From social workers and police to solicitors and health workers - these are the people who can help make sure that vulnerable witnesses get the help and support they need."
The Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004 received Royal Assent on April 14, 2004. It has been implemented incrementally since April 2005 and implementation was completed on April 1, 2008. It covers witnesses in the High Court, Sheriff Court solemn and summary proceedings, children's hearings court proceedings and other civil proceedings in the Court of Session, Sheriff Court and Fatal Accident Inquiries.