A deposition means an out of court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for the later use in court.
According to section 79E of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221), where it is unavoidable that the trial cannot be heard without delay or that exposure to a full trial would endanger the physical or mental health of the child, a party to the proceedings may apply for leave for deposition in writing to be taken from the child by a magistrate.
For cases concerning an offence of sexual abuse, a “child” is defined as under 17 years of age. For offences other than sexual abuse, the age of a “child” is defined as 14 years of age.
A deposition is taken in the presence of the other party, and that his counsel or solicitor will be given the opportunity to fully cross examine the child witness. The evidence will be reduced into writing and read over to the child witness.
Except with leave of the court, a witness in respect of whom a deposition has been taken shall not be examined or cross-examined in any subsequent hearing on any matter which in the court's opinion has been dealt with in the deposition.