Date lodged: 3 May 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to commission an up-to-date evaluation of the effectiveness of the provisions relating to the use of sexual history and character evidence in sexual offence trials.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 16 May 2018
Provisions relating to the use of sexual history and character evidence in sexual offence trials are contained in sections 274 and 275 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. The operation of the law in this area was subject to a full and independent evaluation in 2007. The law in this area has not changed substantively since the 2007 evaluation.
In December 2015 a commitment was made to Parliament to undertake a small high level data collection project to review the usage of the provisions in section 274/275 of the 1995 Act. This exercise concluded in June 2016 and the results can be found here:
The Scottish Government is working with Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to interrogate this data further. This exercise will inform any future consideration of the operation of the law in this area.