Vulnerable individuals who find themselves in front of the Scottish Criminal Justice System may be eligible for support throughout the process. 
The special measures available include the presence of a supporter whilst giving evidence, giving evidence via a video link from a room other than the courtroom and giving evidence in chief in the form of a prior statement. The courts have a power at common law to go beyond these measures and offer additional support. 
Scottish courts have only used their common law discretion to allow supporters to stay with the accused for the full trial. Throught key stages in the trial supporters are not permitted to actively engage with the accused. 
Further to this, effective participation is not effectively defined. For a vulnerable accused there is no clarity on what effective participation should involve. Currently, the only limited information on this relates to the use of translators. As a result, there is a lack of certainty as to the support a vulnerable accused can expect to receive. It has been considered that statutory reform may be necessary to bring struture and regulation to the common law discretion held by the courts. 
Overall, observations have been made that there is a lack of knowledge in Scotland in relation to the vulnerable accused. The support for vulnerable accused should be considered by policy makers and the issue requires some attention.