The Society responded to the Independent Review of Mental Health Law in Scotland’s call for evidence.
The aim of the Review is to improve the rights and protections of people affected by the mental health, incapacity or adult support and protection laws because they have, or used to have, a mental disorder. This includes carers or supporters of people affected by these laws.
We responded to the Scottish Government's outline to the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill.
The Scottish Government published a discussion paper on 14 April 2020 which set out potential options to inform discussions between the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and key stakeholders on the most effective approach to manage the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on serious criminal cases where trial would be before a Sheriff or Judge and jury.
As well as being represented on roundtable discussions on the proposals, we submitted a written response.
The UK Government issued a consulation on the decriminalisation of TV licence evansion, welcoming views on whether the Government should proceed with the decriminalisation of TV licence evasion by replacing the criminal sanction with an alternative civil enforcement scheme.
In December 2019 the Scottish Government updated its Strategic Police Priorities, prompting a refresh of the Scottish Police Authority's and Police Scotland’s strategic police plan and long term strategy for policing.
The Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland wanted to gather views of the communities of Scotland on their long term strategic direction.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on section 38 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 Act, which relates to the duty to notify and provide information about victims.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on the draft code of practice on powers by proper persons to exercise a series of investigatory orders and warrants under Chapter 3 of Part 8 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
We have produced a briefing ahead of the Stage 1 debate on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill, scheduled for Tuesday 28th May 2019.
We produced a briefing on the Vulnerable Witnesses (Criminal Evidence) (Scotland) Bill ahead of the Stage 3 debate on Thursday 9 May 2019.
Gil Paterson MSP has issued a proposal for a Bill to make the right of defence counsel for a person accused of homicide to instruct a post-mortem examination of the alleged victim subject to an extendable time-limit in order to minimise delays and uncertainty for victims' families.
- View the proposal on the Scottish Parliament's website
- The Law Society of Scotland's response (April 2019)
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on proposals to create new protective orders that could be used to keep people at risk of domestic abuse safe by banning perpetrators from their homes.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on proposals to improve the experience of victims in the parole process, increase openness and transparency of the Parole Board for Scotland and ensure the independence of the Parole Board is maintained.
The Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee has decided to undertake an evidence session on the nature, extent and prosecution of elder abuse, and whether there is merit in the potential introduction of an aggravated offence of elder abuse in Scotland.
- The Law Society of Scotland's written evidence (February 2019)
- Justice Committee evidence session, featuring Rosalyn McTaggart of our Criminal Law Committee (26 February 2019)
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on plans to strengthen the existing legislative framework for the protection of women and girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a form of gender based violence.
The independent review of policing during the miners' strike was set up following a June 2018 statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP in the Scottish Parliament. It is being led by John Scott QC, and its remit is to investigate and report on the impact of policing on affected communities in Scotland during the period of the miners' strike from March 1984 to March 1985.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on proposals for the establishment of a Commissioner to provide independent oversight of biometric data used by the police and others in Scotland and an associated statutory code of practice.
Read our briefing issued to all MSPs ahead of the Justice Committee debate on remand on Wednesday 3 October 2018.
The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has issued an inquiry looking at what progress has been made in the three years since the Modern Slavery Act came into force and what more remains to be done.
The Scottish Parliament will debate the Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland final report on Thursday 7 June 2018.
- The Law Society of Scotland's briefing issued to all MSPs ahead of the debate (June 2018)
The Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee is to undertake post-legislative scrutiny of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012. The 2012 Act created a single police service and a single fire and rescue service, replacing the eight police forces and the eight fire brigades that had existed previously.
A proposal for a Bill to create an offence or offences to increase the protection of workers in the retail sector, particularly those applying or enforcing an age-restriction in relation to the sale or supply of goods or services. (April 2018)
The Criminal Law Committee submitted written evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee on the implications of the UK's exit from the European Union on policing and criminal justice in Scotland.
- The Law Society of Scotland's written evidence (February 2018)
Petition PE 1633: Private Criminal Prosecution in Scotland (Petition) questions whether there should be any changes in the law by removing the requirement that the Lord Advocate must first give permission before a private criminal prosecution can be commenced in Scotland.
The Scottish Government issued a consultation to ensure that decisions on any ensuing reforms to the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 following Lord Bonomy's review are taken with a sound understanding of the issues and implications.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation to seek views on the proposed amendments to the Police Act 1997 and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. Scottish Ministers will consider all written observations received on the proposed draft order.
This consultation sought views to inform the independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland, conducted by Lord Bracadale. The review is considering whether changes need to be made to the current laws; whether existing offences should be extended to cover other groups; and whether all hate crimes should be brought into one area of legislation.
John Finnie MSP has issued a consultation on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill to give children equal protection from assault by prohibiting the physical punishment of children by parents and others caring for or in charge of children.
The Scottish Government has issued a consultation on the next steps in taking forward primary legislation to extend the use of electronic monitoring in Scotland in support of broader community justice policy.
The UK Government is examining the case for reform of the law on corporate liability for economic crime. The call for evidence is concerned with criminal offences designed to punish and prevent economic crimes such as fraud, false accounting and money laundering when committed on behalf or in the name of companies.
The Ministry of Justice has issued a consultation on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury. The government recognises that there is a public concern about sentencing for offenders who kill or seriously injure others on the road and is committed to making sure that the legislative framework that the courts operate within reflects the seriousness of offending and the culpability of the offender.