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Law Society responds to Scottish Government legislative programme

06 September 2016 | tagged News release

The Law Society of Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s legislative programme announced today, Tuesday, 6 September, by the First Minister.

Eilidh Wiseman, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “We are pleased that access to justice features prominently within today’s programme including bills on third party rights, tackling child poverty, and the domestic abuse bill along with the intention to abolish employment tribunal fees.

“We support the principles behind the bills aimed at ensuring an accessible and affordable justice system for people living in Scotland. Once introduced, we will scrutinise the proposals and engage with the government, opposition parties and other key groups to ensure that the resulting legislation is practical and effective.

The Scottish Government programme also confirmed the intention to engage with the legal profession on legal aid.

Wiseman said: “We have pressed for reform to our legal aid system. Last year we published a series of recommendations for both civil and criminal legal aid to ensure its long term sustainability and we are pleased that the government has confirmed it will engage with the profession on how this can best be done.  It is essential that people can access the legal advice and services they need regardless of where they live or their financial circumstances and that those who provide that advice can continue to afford to do so.”


Note to editors

A total of 15 new bills will be introduced over the next year:

  • Air Passenger Duty Bill – to reduce APD by 50%.

  • Railway Policing Bill – to confer railway policing power on Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority.

  • Gender Balance on Public Boards Bill – to improve gender representation in the public sector.

  • Social Security Bill – to create a framework for a new social security system.

  • Budget Bill – to set out the Scottish Government’s spending plans.

  • Housing (Amendment) Bill – to ensure registered social landlords are classified as private sector bodies.

  • Child Poverty Bill – to eradicate child poverty and ensure a Child Poverty Delivery Plan is published every five years.

  • Contract (Third Party Rights) Bill – to reform current law on contracts relating to third party rights.

  • Expenses and Funding of Civil Litigation Bill – to make the civil justice system more accessible and affordable.

  • Domestic Abuse Bill – to make domestic abuse a specific offence.

  • Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill – to allow child abuse survivors access civil justice.

  • Islands Bill – to set out island devolution.

  • Forestry Bill – to complete the devolution of forestry.

  • Wild Animals in Circuses Bill – to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.

  • Referendum Bill – to prepare for a second independence referendum should it be agreed it was the best way to protect Scotland’s interests in the EU.

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