https://insidehmcts.blog.gov.uk/2016/11/02/digital-defence-defence-witness-service/

Digital defence – defence witness service

[English] - [Cymraeg]

I would like to draw defence practitioners’ attention to the Citizens Advice Witness Service which is funded by MOJ and offers free, independent and impartial support for defence and prosecution witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales. The Witness Services provides practical information about the process as well as emotional support to help witnesses feel more confident about giving evidence.
The Witness Service is aware the services it offers are underutilised by defence practitioners. It commissioned research by Supporting Justice which indicated practitioners perceived the service was only available to prosecution witnesses.

Benefits to witnesses

The service provides independent support and information to allow witnesses to give their best evidence. It offers:

  • a preparation service which includes contacting witnesses in advance of trial to talk them through the process of giving evidence
  • the opportunity to visit an empty courtroom before the trial day and familiarise themselves with what it will be life when they give evidence
  • support and information while they’re at court for the trial and help with claiming expenses
    an outreach service for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses who may need a higher level of preparation and support. This includes preparation sessions at the witness’s home or a community location as appropriate

Benefits to defence practitioners

A referral to the Witness Service not only has significant benefits for defence witnesses, but also for defence lawyers. These may include:

  • witnesses are likely to give better evidence
  • reduced attrition rate of witnesses not attending as they feel better supported and prepared.
  • allow defence solicitors to spend more time with their clients rather than trying to keep defence witnesses updated on proceedings when at court.

Please see below more information about the service. The information also enables you as defence practitioners to complete an online referral for your witnesses.
cab-defence-witness-service
I hope you found this information useful but I would be interested in your views, please leave comments on this blog post below.


[English] - [Cymraeg]

Amddiffyn digidol - gwasanaeth tystion yr amddiffyniad

Hoffwn dynnu sylw ymarferwyr yr amddiffyniad at Wasanaeth Tystion y Ganolfan Cyngor ar Bopeth, a ariennir gan y Weinyddiaeth Cyfiawnder, sy’n cynnig cefnogaeth annibynnol a diduedd yn rhad ac am ddim i dystion yr amddiffyniad a thystion yr erlyniad ym mhob llys yng Nghymru a Lloegr. Mae'r Gwasanaeth Tystion yn darparu gwybodaeth ymarferol am y broses yn ogystal â chefnogaeth emosiynol i helpu tystion deimlo'n fwy hyderus am roi tystiolaeth.

Mae’r Gwasanaeth Tystion yn ymwybodol nad yw'r gwasanaethau y mae'n eu cynnig yn cael eu defnyddio digon gan ymarferwyr yr amddiffyniad. Comisiynodd y gwasanaeth astudiaeth ymchwil gan ‘Cefnogi Cyfiawnder’ (Supporting Justice), a oedd yn dangos bod ymarferwyr yn credu bod y gwasanaeth ar gael i dystion yr erlyniad yn unig.

Buddion i dystion

Mae’r gwasanaeth yn darparu cefnogaeth annibynnol a gwybodaeth i alluogi tystion i roi'r dystiolaeth orau bosib. Mae’n cynnig:

  • gwasanaeth paratoi sy’n cynnwys cysylltu â thystion cyn y treial ac egluro'r broses o roi tystiolaeth
  • cyfle i ymweld ag ystafell llys wag cyn diwrnod y treial ac ymgyfarwyddo â'r ystafell a chael syniad o sut brofiad bydd rhoi tystiolaeth yno
  • cefnogaeth a gwybodaeth tra eu bod yn y llys ar gyfer y treial a chymorth gyda hawlio treuliaugwasanaeth allgymorth ar gyfer tystion bregus ac ofnus a all fod angen rhagor o waith paratoi a chefnogaeth. Mae hyn yn cynnwys sesiynau paratoi yng nghartref y tyst neu leoliad yn y gymuned fel y bo’n briodol

Buddion i ymarferwyr yr amddiffyniad

Mae cyfeirio tyst at y Gwasanaeth Tystion yn dwyn buddion nid yn unig i dystion yr amddiffyniad ond hefyd i gyfreithwyr yr amddiffyniad. Gallai'r rhain gynnwys:

  • bod tystion yn debygol o roi tystiolaeth well
  • cyfraddau is o dystion yn peidio â bod yn bresennol oherwydd ei bod yn teimlo bod ganddynt gefnogaeth well a theimlo’n fwy parod.
  • galluogi cyfreithwyr yr amddiffyniad i dreulio rhagor o amser gyda'u cleientiaid yn hytrach na cheisio diweddaru tystion am yr achos pan maent yn y llys.

Gweler rhagor o wybodaeth am y gwasanaeth isod. Mae’r wybodaeth hefyd yn eich galluogi chi, fel ymarferwyr yr amddiffyniad, i lenwi ffurflen gyfeirio ar-lein i’ch tystion.
http://cab-defence-witness-service
Gobeithiaf fod yr wybodaeth hon yn ddefnyddiol ichi a byddwn yn awyddus i gael eich barn, gadewch sylwadau am y blog hwn isod, os gwelwch yn dda.