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Call for Evidence on law to fix problem with disclosure regime 09/10/2017 MSPs have issued a Call for Evidence in respect of the disclosure regime, after the courts identified an incompatibility with the ECHR

Call for Evidence on law to fix problem with disclosure regime

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee of the Scottish Parliament has issued a Call for Evidence in respect of the disclosure regime, after the courts identified an incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The MSPs are looking at a proposed law designed to rectify matters. It would amend the higher level disclosure regime (as set out in the Police Act 1997 and in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007) by extending the right to apply to a sheriff against disclosure of spent convictions.

This proposed change fixes a previous fix to the disclosure regime made in 2015, and the question is whether it would address the issues of ECHR incompatibility identified by the court, and would be capable of being operated compatibly with ECHR rights.

More specifically the Committee is keen to obtain views on:

  • Whether the period of time which must pass before the disclosure of Schedule 8A spent conviction information may be appealed to the sheriff (15 years from the date of conviction, or 7.5 years if the individual was under 18 on the date of conviction) is proportionate?
  • The lack of any provision allowing the disposal of the conviction to be taken into account in determining whether an appeal to the sheriff against disclosure of a Schedule 8A conviction is appropriate.
  • Whether there are any concerns about the sheriff appeal procedure as it currently applies to the disclosure of schedule 8B convictions?
  • The transitional provision set out in the Proposed Draft Order dealing with the transition from the existing regime to the proposed new regime.

The consultation can be found here. Comments are sought by 26th November 2017.

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