February 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including the Lobbying Bill, the Transport Bill, the Health and Tobacco Bill, Trade Union Bill (see below) and the Transplant Bill. Other key areas of work are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website.

Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill

The Society’s Criminal Law Committee submitted its briefing or MSPs ahead of the Stage 1 debate on the Abusive Behaviour (Scotland) Bill on 28 January. It highlights that while the Society supports the policy objectives of the bill and would welcome any measure which helps to improve how the justice system responds to abusive behaviour including domestic abuse and sexual harm, it continues to have  reservations as to whether the bill as drafted would help improve the justice system to do so. 

The committee has raised  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.

Full briefing available on our website