December 2015

Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill

Our criminal law committee submitted written evidence on the bill in November. 

In its evidence, the committee highlighted that while supporting the policy objectives of the bill and that it would welcome any measure which helps to improve how the justice system responds to abusive behaviour including domestic abuse and sexual harm, that it had reservations as to whether the bill as drafted would help improve the justice system to do so.

The committee also highlighted its concerns around proving aggravation of an offence, as set out at section 1, and questioned why existing measures were not adequate and whether or not the increased use of statutory aggravations were improving the criminal justice system. 

On the ‘revenge pornography’ provisions, as set out at section 2, the committee is of the view that there is a strong argument for modelling the offence on the English legislation, rather than operating different regimes north and south of the border. 

Grazia Robertson also gave oral evidence to the Justice Committee on 17 November.

The full response and link to the oral evidence session is on our website