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Victims and Witnesses

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Victims' Right To Review

Please be aware that from 1 July 2015, you, as a victim of crime in Scotland, have the right to a review of a decision by us not to prosecute, made on or after 1 July 2015. You should if possible apply for a review within one month of the date you are informed of our decision not to prosecute. Generally you would be told of the review decision within 20 working days.

docxApplication form to request a review 251.83 KB (.docx)
pdfLord Advocate’s Rules: Review of a Decision Not to Prosecute – Section 4 of The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014118.21 KB 

If you have problems downloading the form, please contact the Enquiry Point on 0300 020 3000


Review of victim care in the justice sector in Scotland

A Victim Review carried out by the former Solicitor General, Dr Lesley Thomson QC which recommends ways in which the justice system could better serve victims of crime.

Review of Victim Care in the Justice Sector in Scotland.pdf


Victims and Witnesses

You may have a lot of questions about what to expect. The relevant COPFS booklets listed above will be sent to you if you are cited to be a witness but you can read them now by clicking on the links above.

We hope they help answer some of your questions for example about what to bring to court, what will happen when you get there and what expenses you can claim and how.

If you are eligible for the Victim Information and Advice service you will also be sent leaflets which give more information about the various aspects of the court process. 


Victim’s Code for Scotland

As a victim of crime you have rights. The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out these rights and who to contact for help and advice.


Prosecution Code

This Prosecution Code sets out the criteria for decision making and the range of options available to prosecutors dealing with reports of crime. Further information on Prosecution Policy and Guidance can be found here.

Standards of Service reports

pdfStandards of Service annual report 2016-17docxStandards of Service annual report 2016-17

pdfStandards of Service 2017-18docxStandards of Service 2017-18

pdfStandards of Service Annual Report 2015-16 

pdfStandards of Service 2016-17


Access to Information Protocol

The Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014

The central objective of the Victim and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 (the Act) is to improve the experience of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice system in Scotland.  One of the key provisions is that victims and witnesses have a legal right to request certain information about their case.

pdfAccess to Information Protocol – July 2015119.62 KB

 pdfAccess to Information Protocol - easy read version60.8 KB

docAccess to Information Protocol - COPFS Application Form – July 201560 KB

docAccess to Information Protoccol - Scottish Court Service Request Form39.5 KB


Victims’ Rights (Scotland) Regulations 2015

pdfVictims Rights - Return of Property 120.43 KB


pdfVictims and Witnesses Bill - Consultation Paper - COPFS Response.pdf52.88 KB

COPFS welcomes the opportunity to provide a response to the consultation paper on the Victims and Witnesses Bill. This Bill represents the commitment of the Scottish Government to improve the experience of victims and witnesses, a commitment which is shared by COPFS.