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.

Human Rights

This month we also submitted our preliminary views on the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act and its replacement with a British Bill of Rights. Our Director of Law Reform Michael Clancy has been invited to give evidence before the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee on 4 February. 

It’s the Society’s view that the HRA has had a positive impact on the development of law and policy both in the UK and in Scotland. We therefore support the retention of the HRA, but we also accept that there is room for improvement of the Act. We believe that the HRA can be improved by the following amendments:-

a) by amending Section 10 to provide a more accountable parliamentary way to amend incompatible legislation in the light of a declaration of incompatibility by the courts;

b) by including Article 13 - right to an effective remedy in Schedule 1;

c) by expanding and clarifying the application of the HRA to private bodies exercising public functions or providing public services.

Full briefing is avaialable on our website