August 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including new proposals to introduce a no-blame redress scheme for the healthcare sector, new police powers for stop and search and the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website

Stop and Search

The Criminal Law Committee has responded to two separate consultations issued by the Scottish Government on stop and search, including a consultation on police powers to search children and young people for alcohol and a consultation on a draft code of practice.

Overall, we believe that current police powers are sufficient and new powers could result in negative effects. There is a risk that a new power to search a child or young person for alcohol would generate a disproportionate negative perception of children, as evidence shows only a small number of searches actually result in the finding of alcohol. We also considered whether there should be a specific legal power to search people aged 18 and over.

Taking all matters into account; our view is that there would be little benefit in introducing new statutory powers for the police to search children, adults and young people for alcohol.

Our responses to both consultations are available to read on the law reform section of the website