Criminal law

Her Majesty's Inspectorate Constabulary's Forward Workplan 2014-2017

A Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

This discussion paper is seeking views on how the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act might be modernised and reformed in Scotland. The Scottish Government considers that, after almost 40 years, there is a need to review both the principles and operation of the 1974 Act in its current form. As such, we are taking this opportunity to gather the evidence necessary to help us consider what changes, if any, are required to modernise the legislation.

Serious Crime Prevention Orders in Scotland

New civil orders to help tackle organised crime in Scotland.

The UK's 2014 opt-out decision: House of Lords follow-up enquiry

The Society submitted a joint response with the Law Society of England and Wales to the House of Lords' EU Select Committee's follow-up inquiry into the UK's 2014 opt-out decision. In the response, the Societies confirm their position that exercising the opt-out is likely to cause significant difficulties for cross-border criminal investigations and to increase the complexity of advising suspects and victims. It may also give rise to significant unnecessary costs (at a time when many reductions, not least in the field of legal aid, are being made to domestic criminal justice funding) and diminish the ability of the UK to influence future developments in this field of law at EU-level. 

The UK's 2014 opt-out decision (Protocol 36)

Protocol 36 of the Treaty of Lisbon allows the government to decide, by 31 May 2014, whether the UK should continue to be bound by approximately 130 police and criminal justice (PCJ) measures, which would all become subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Commission's enforcement powers, or if it should exercise its right to opt-out of them all. Either scenario would then take effect from 1 December 2014. The government has undertaken to organise a debate and a vote in each House before a decision is made.

Redesigning the Community Justice System

On 17 April 2012, the Commission on Women Offenders published their report setting out a number of practical recommendations to improve outcomes for women offenders in the criminal justice system. The Commission concluded that there were significant structural and funding barriers to the effective delivery of offender services in the community and that radical reform was required. A recent report from Audit Scotland on reducing reoffending also called for a review of existing arrangements. On 25 June 2012, in response to the report from the Commission on Women Offenders, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice stated that the status quo was untenable and that the Scottish Government would publish a consultation on the options for redesigning community justice.

Reforming Scots Criminal Law and Practice: Reform of Sheriff and Jury Procedure

The consultation document seeks views on implementation of Sheriff Principal Bowen's key proposals to reform sheriff and jury procedure and also includes draft Bill provisions.

Reforming Scots Criminal Law and Practice: Additional Safeguards Following the Removal of the Requirement for Corroboration

Following consideration of the responses to the previous public consultation on Lord Carloway's proposals to reform several areas of Scots law and practice, the Scottish Government is seeking views on additional safeguards following the removal of the requirement for corroboration.

PE01455: Public access to court records

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to consider the need for new legislation to create a free of charge public right of access to information generated in relation to court proceedings, including all documents which have been read in open court, whether aloud or not, and to proactively publish this information online.

PE01458: Register of Interests for members of Scotlands judiciary

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to create a Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill (as is currently being considered in New Zealand's Parliament) or amend present legislation to require all members of the judiciary in Scotland to submit their interests & hospitality received to a publicly available Register of Interests.