Fri | May 29, 2015

Video evidence act tabled in Senate

Published:Saturday | November 17, 2012

The use of video-recorded evidence in criminal and civil proceedings and in a coroner's inquest is closer to becoming a reality in Jamaica with the tabling in the Senate yesterday of the Evidence (Special Measures) Act, 2012.

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding tabled the bill in the Upper House which seeks to introduce special measures that can be used to facilitate the giving of evidence by vulnerable witnesses and other specified witnesses.

The memorandum of objects and reasons of the proposed law states that the special measures will facilitate evidence by means of a live audio visual link and a video recording of an interview with a witness which may be admitted as evidence.

The bill identifies vulnerable witnesses as children, a complainant in criminal proceedings relating to a sexual offence, and a witness whose evidence the court determines is unlikely to be available to the court due to fear or distress, or if the witness has a mental or physical disorder or has a physical disability.