May 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including the Investigatory Powers Bill, Child Safety Online and the criminal offence of domestic abuse.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website: www.lawscot.org.uk/law-reform

Criminal offence of domestic abuse

The Criminal Law Committee responded to a Scottish Government consultation on a draft provision to create a specific offence of ‘abusive behaviour in relation to a partner or ex-partner’.

We believe that clarity is needed on the proposals if it is to help people affected by either physical or psychological abuse. It will also be essential that any offence extending beyond physical abuse or behaviour is clearly defined.

We have also called for support for those who have either emotionally or physically abused their partners, in addition to providing support for victims of abuse, so they can recognise the impact of their abusive behaviour, and learn how to change their behaviours to prevent reoccurrence.

The Law Society’s full consultation response can be found on our website