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.

Apologies (Scotland) Bill

We welcomed the passing of the Apologies (Scotland) Bill at stage 3. The bill had been amended in following concerns raised by our Health and Medical Law Committee to exempt apologies made under the duty of candour procedure as set out in the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Bill from the Apologies Bill. 

The committee had proposed such an amendment to members of the Justice Committee in November.   Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Paul Wheelhouse MSP tabled the amendment  at December’s Justice Committee meeting at the Scottish Parliament. Both the Apologies Bill and the Health Bill provided for two very different definitions of an apology - meaning the law of unintended consequences may have applied, causing confusion and leading to an unforeseen or unanticipated consequence.  If this had happened, it would have meant that the policy intentions behind both bills may have failed. 

Full details on our website