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Evidence ConcentrateLaw Revision and Study Guide

Evidence Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide (7th edn)

Maureen Spencer and John Spencer
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date: 04 June 2023

p. 1247. Competence, compellability, and special measureslocked

p. 1247. Competence, compellability, and special measureslocked

  • Maureen SpencerMaureen SpencerFormer Associate Professor Middlesex University
  •  and John SpencerJohn SpencerBarrister


This chapter focuses on the competence and compellability of witnesses in criminal and, in outline, in civil trials. It explains the main criminal law exceptions in relation to competence and universal compellability. It gives details on the complex and controversial position under s80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984. The chapter outlines the special measures directions (SMDs) available under the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act (YJCAE) 1999 for vulnerable non-defendant witnesses in criminal trials. The more limited measures for vulnerable defendants are outlined, in particular the use of intermediaries. The chapter concludes with an outline of the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008.

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