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05/12/2019 Stage 1 report on FGM protection legislation published
The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee has supported the general principles of proposed new legislation that aims to strengthen legal protection for women and girls at risk of FGM
28/11/2019 The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) Scotland Bill published
Victims of rape and sexual assault will be able to refer themselves for forensic examination without having to report a crime to police, as a result of measures outlined in a new Scottish Government Bill
26/11/2019 Report on improving the parole process
The Scottish Government has published its response to the consultation on ‘Transforming Parole in Scotland’.
17/10/2019 Bill to protect people from domestic abuse
Police and the courts will be given new powers to remove suspected domestic abusers from the homes of victims or others at risk
15/10/2019 Home detention curfew changes
New powers of entry and search for police to apprehend a person unlawfully at large from a home detention curfew have come into force in Scotland.
10/10/2019 Scottish jury research published
Findings of UK’s largest ever mock jury study has been published
08/10/2019 MSPs to question police use of facial recognition technology
Holyrood’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing has launched a new inquiry into the use of facial recognition technology
03/10/2019 Animal Welfare Bill published
The Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protections and Powers) (Scotland) Bill has been published.
26/09/2019 Seven summary sheriffs appointed
Seven new summary sheriffs have been appointed to the judicial office created as part of a major reform of Scotland’s courts.
19/09/2019 Queen's Counsel Appointments 2019
Solicitor Advocate Liam Ewing is one of nine newly appointed Queen’s Counsel, it was announced yesterday.
12/09/2019 Victim Surcharge Fund
The Scottish Government has confirmed that from November a new financial penalty will be imposed on all criminals who are sentenced to pay a court fine
10/09/2019 Animal Welfare Bill to be introduced
The Scottish Government has announced that new legislation is to be introduced to provide more protection for service animals such as police dogs and horses
05/09/2019 Victim statement expansion
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on whether more victims should have a voice in court to explain how crime has affected them.
29/08/2019 New Sheriffs appointed
Eight new sheriffs have been appointed to serve the sheriffdoms of Glasgow & Strathkelvin, Grampian, Highland and Islands, North Strathclyde, South Strathclyde, Dumfries & Galloway and Tayside, Central & Fife.
27/08/2019 Child trafficking guardians: consultation
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the proposed appointment and role of independent child trafficking guardians.
22/08/2019 Criminal justice experience of victim-survivors of rape
A new study shows the Scottish criminal justice process leaves those who have reported a rape or serious sexual assault feeling marginalised and with little control
20/08/2019 Delivering community justice interventions
An expert group focused on improving the delivery of community justice interventions in Scotland will meet tomorrow for the first time.
08/08/2019 FAI follow-up report
The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland has published a follow–up report on Fatal Accident Inquiries
01/08/2019 Review of Control of Dogs Act
MSPs on the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee have said that current dog control legislation isn’t fit for purpose and called for a comprehensive review of all dog control laws
30/07/2019 Lord Reed appointed next President of Supreme Court
The Government has announced that the Right Hon Lord Reed will succeed Baroness Hale of Richmond as President of the Supreme Court, alongside three additional appointments to the UK's top appeal court
02/07/2019 Parliament Committee to examine case for personal data tsar
The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has launched a call for evidence on new proposals to create a Scottish Biometrics Commissioner.
27/06/2019 Consultation on modernising legal aid
The Scottish Government is consulting the public on how to ensure current legal aid provision meets the needs of modern Scotland.
25/06/2019 New Bill to extend electoral franchise
The Scottish Government has published legislation to extend the right to vote in Scottish elections to citizens of all nationalities legally resident in Scotland.
12/06/2019 JUSTICE Report on Prosecuting Sexual Offences
JUSTICE has launched a working party report on Prosecuting Sexual Offences, including a number of recommendations relating specifically to Scotland.
23/05/2019 Incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Scottish Government is seeking views on how best to incorporate the UN’s ‘gold standard’ for children’s rights into Scots Law
21/05/2019 Endorsement for Equal Protection from Assault Bill
A majority of MSPs on Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee have endorsed the general principles of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill
16/05/2019 Sentencing guidelines to be developed for sexual offences
The SSC has announced that it will develop multiple guidelines on sexual offences, beginning with rape, sexual assault, and indecent images of children.
14/05/2019 Vulnerable Witnesses Bill passed
Legislation to ensure more child witnesses are able to pre-record evidence ahead of jury trials has been passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.
30/04/2019 Scrutiny of Treaties
The House of Lords Constitution Committee has published a report calling for urgent reform to strengthen Parliament's scrutiny of treaties.
23/04/2019 Slight fall in recorded offences involving firearms
Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published a bulletin showing that in 2017-18, the police in Scotland recorded 348 offences in which a firearm was alleged to have been involved
02/04/2019 Domestic Abuse Act in force
Groundbreaking legislation that criminalises psychological domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour is now in force.
29/03/2019 Crime falls by 16% since 2016-17
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has welcomed a 16% fall crime in Scotland since 2016-17.
28/03/2019 Improving the management of sexual offence cases
A judicially led review group will take a fresh look at how sexual offences cases are conducted by courts, says the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
14/03/2019 Glowing report on Bribery Act 2010
The House of Lords Select Committee report on the Bribery Act 2010 has concluded that the Act is ‘exemplary’
12/03/2019 Legal aid advisory panel announced
A Scottish Government panel has been set up to advise on an evidence-based approach for a review of fee levels for legal aid services.
05/03/2019 Tightening of rules for non-disclosure agreements
The rules around non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses are set to be tightened under new legal proposals announced by the Government.
22/02/2019 First Anniversary Alcohol Court Glasgow
The Glasgow Sheriff Court Alcohol Court marked its first anniversary earlier this week. It is the latest “problem-solving court” established in Glasgow
14/02/2019 Consultation on protecting people at risk of domestic abuse
The Scottish Government has called for views on a consultation on protecting people at risk of domestic abuse
12/02/2019 Seven years in jail for bosses who recklessly risk pensions
A new criminal offence of ‘wilful or reckless behaviour’ in relation to pensions will be introduced under proposals to crack down on abuse of final or average salary schemes.
05/02/2019 Proposals to increase sentencing for animal cruelty
The Scottish Government is seeking views on proposals to strengthen enforcement powers for animal welfare offences.
31/01/2019 Report on Management of Offenders Bill
Proposals to increase the use of electronic tags and reduce the period that people with prior convictions must disclose convictions for, have received the backing of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.
24/01/2019 Justice Committee backs Vulnerable Witnesses Bill
Plans to increase the use of pre-recorded evidence in criminal trials have been given the green light by Holyrood’s Justice Committee.
22/01/2019 Mental health expert to work with prisons inspectorate on review
A leading consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist is to oversee the independent expert review of mental health and wellbeing support for young people in custody.
16/01/2019 New drug driving laws and roadside testing
The Scottish Government has confirmed that drug driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced into Scotland on 21st October this year.
20/12/2018 Consultation on parole
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has launched a consultation on Transforming Parole in Scotland
29/11/2018 Guaranteeing human rights
The Scottish Parliament should be an international leader in human rights, and adopt procedures that ensure best practice becomes standard practice, according to a new report
20/11/2018 Raising the age of criminal responsibility
Earlier this month, Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee backed the general principles of a Bill that will raise the minimum age at which a young person can be held criminally responsible to 12
15/11/2018 Consultation on hate crime law
The Scottish Government has launched a new consultation calling on the public to help shape consolidated and modernised hate crime legislation.
08/11/2018 Consultation on future rules for automated vehicles
The Law Commissions are consulting on crucial legal reforms that will ensure the country is prepared for the introduction of automated vehicles.
06/11/2018 Call for views on ending the physical punishment of children
Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee has launched a call for views on proposed changes that would remove the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ from Scots law
01/11/2018 Sentencing Guideline Approved
Earlier this week, the High Court of Justiciary approved Scotland’s first sentencing guideline, which will come into force on 26th November.
30/10/2018 ‘Compatibility issues’ review report
Appeals to the Supreme Court should not require certification by the High Court of Justiciary that the issue raises a point of law of general public importance, a review chaired by the Lord Justice General has concluded.
23/10/2018 New Broadcast Protocol
The Judicial Office for Scotland has launched a new ‘Protocol on Recording and Broadcasting of Proceedings in the High Court of Justiciary and the Court of Session, and the Use of Live Text Based Communications from Court’
17/10/2018 Consultation to look at misogyny
A forthcoming consultation on updating and consolidating Scotland's hate crime laws will include consideration as to what measures may be needed to better tackle gender-based violence, including misogyny
11/10/2018 Justice Vision and Priorities
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has hailed progress on the Justice Vision and Priorities for Scotland strategy, published last year to create safer and more resilient communities across Scotland.
04/10/2018 Strengthening protections against FGM
The Scottish Government has published a consultation paper on the introduction of a Bill that will give girls and women greater protection from FGM.
25/09/2018 Robbery research published
The Scottish Government has published details of an in-depth study into robbery, alongside the latest recorded crime figures.
19/09/2018 Queen's Counsel Appointments
The Society of Solicitor Advocates is delighted at the announcement that Solicitor Advocates Jim Cormack and Richard Goddard have been appointed Queen’s Counsel.
06/09/2018 Financial redress in respect of abuse in care - report
A set of reports looking at a financial compensation/redress scheme for the victims/survivors of abuse in care in Scotland has been published.
04/09/2018 Reconvictions at 19-year low
New reconviction statistics, published today, reveal that the number of offenders reconvicted of further offences has fallen to a 19-year low.
28/08/2018 Sixty new lawyers for COPFS
COPFS has announced that it has been given additional in-year budget of £3.6 million to fund the recruitment up to 140 permanent staff.
21/08/2018 Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme
A new Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme will give qualified solicitors, solicitor advocates or advocates the opportunity to apply to spend up to three days observing the work of a judicial office holder.
14/08/2018 Consultation on dangerous cyclist offence
The UK Government is consulting on whether a new offence equivalent to causing death by careless or dangerous driving should be introduced for dangerous cyclists.
19/07/2018 Report on draft sentencing guideline
The Scottish Sentencing Council recently published a report on its public consultation on the Principles and Purposes of Sentencing guideline
17/07/2018 Biometric data consultation
The Scottish Government is consulting on how to deliver independent and ethical oversight of the collection and use of biometric data.
12/07/2018 Making the justice system more accessible
An ‘easy read’ version of the Victims’ Code for Scotland has been launched to help victims with communications difficulties understand their rights
10/07/2018 Tougher laser misuse laws come into force
New laws introducing tough penalties for people who target vehicles such as trains, planes, cars and boats with lasers are now in force.
05/07/2018 Justice Committee seeking views on Vulnerable Witnesses Bill
The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has launched a call for evidence into the Vulnerable Witnesses Bill.
03/07/2018 Holyrood Committee to review dog control law
The effectiveness of legislation that aims to ensure dogs are kept under control is to be examined by a Holyrood Committee.
26/06/2018 Justice Committee questions use of remand in Scotland
Holyrood’s Justice Committee has published a report on the use of remand in Scotland
14/06/2018 The Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Bill
Legislation to enable the greater use of pre-recording of evidence by child and vulnerable witnesses has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
07/06/2018 Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill passed
The Scottish Parliament has unanimously passed the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill.
05/06/2018 Research into family justice system
The Scottish Government is providing funding for two projects looking at the family justice system. The aim is to improve understanding of the barriers to children’s views being heard in family law cases.
31/05/2018 Lord Reed named Deputy President of the Supreme Court
The Right Hon Lord Reed has been appointed Deputy President of the Supreme Court.
22/05/2018 New laws to make social media safer
New laws will be created to make sure that the UK is the safest place in the world to be online, Digital Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
10/05/2018 Long cases Practice Note
A High Court Practice Note was launched yesterday, aiming to ensure that complex High Court cases are kept within reasonable time limits.
01/05/2018 Age of criminal responsibility
The age a young person can be held responsible for their actions in the eyes of the law is to be examined by Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee.
24/04/2018 DNA breakthrough for wildlife crime
Wildlife crime investigations could be supported by new research into retrieving human DNA found at the scene, says the Scottish Government.
17/04/2018 New measures to tackle organised crime
New measures to combat organised crime that came into force earlier this week will widen what can be classed as cash when seizing assets
27/03/2018 Historic Pardons Bill unanimously backed
Holyrood’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee has unanimously backed the general principles of the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill.
22/03/2018 Police biometric data use to be improved
An Independent Advisory Group on Biometric Data has recommended a series of changes to how such data is used by Police Scotland.
20/03/2018 Justice Committee seeking views on treatment of offenders
The Justice Committee has launched a call for evidence on the Management of Offenders Bill
15/03/2018 The Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill introduced
The age of criminal responsibility in Scotland is set to rise from eight to 12, under legislation introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
06/03/2018 Regulatory review looks at self-driving vehicles
The Government has instructed a regulatory review of legal obstacles to the widespread introduction of self-driving vehicles.
27/02/2018 Fall in criminal court proceedings
Newly published statistics show that the total number of people proceeded against in Scottish courts fell by eight percent in the year 2016-17
23/02/2018 Management of Offenders Bill published
New electronic monitoring technologies that can better protect victims of crime form part of the Management of Offenders Bill published today.
01/02/2018 Domestic Abuse Bill passed by Scottish Parliament
Psychological abuse and coercive control in the home will soon be a criminal offence, after the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament.
26/01/2018 Modernising powers of arrest
Measures to modernise the law around arrest and questioning of suspects have come into force in Scotland.
23/01/2018 World-first property register
A world-first register revealing owners of overseas companies buying property in the UK will go live by early 2021
18/01/2018 Justice Committee backs Repeal Bill
A majority of Holyrood's Justice Committee has backed a Bill repealing the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.
10/01/2018 Consultation on ‘compatibility issues’
A consultation has been published on the practice and procedure relating to “compatibility issues” arising in criminal proceedings in Scotland and appeals to the UK Supreme Court
08/01/2018 New measures to tackle unsafe laser pointers
The Government has announced new measures to tackle the sale of unsafe laser pointers, building on tough new penalties in the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill
12/12/2017 Annual wildlife crime report
Recorded wildlife crime has fallen by 8%, according to the latest annual wildlife crime report
24/11/2017 Equalities Committee seeks views on Historic Pardons Bill
The Equalities and Human Rights Committee is looking to hear views on the Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill
07/11/2017 Historical Sexual Offences Bill published
Legislation to provide gay men convicted under historical discriminatory laws with an automatic pardon has been published.
01/11/2017 Trafficking and Exploitation Risk Orders in force
New powers to tackle trafficking suspects have come into force.
26/10/2017 Improving the quality of legislation
The House of Lords Constitution Committee has called on the Government to make changes to the way that legislation is developed
13/10/2017 Lobbying Register in force in March 2018
From Monday 12th March 2018 all regulated lobbying in Scotland will have to be registered on Scotland’s new Lobbying Register.
09/10/2017 Call for Evidence on law to fix problem with disclosure regime
MSPs have issued a Call for Evidence in respect of the disclosure regime, after the courts identified an incompatibility with the ECHR
03/10/2017 New right of appeal at Investigatory Powers Tribunal - consultation
The Government has launched a consultation on draft rules governing proceedings at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
25/09/2017 Research into how juries reach decisions
Research into how juries reach decisions, including their use of the ‘not proven’ verdict, will be carried out over the next two years.
20/09/2017 Modernisation of Summary Criminal Justice in Scotland
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has published a further report on possible modernisation of summary criminal justice in Scotland.
18/08/2017 Judicial Complaints Reviewer appointed
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson has announced the appointment of Ian Gordon as the third Judicial Complaints Reviewer.
11/08/2017 Sheriff Appeal Court to sit in Glasgow
The Sheriff Appeal Court is to sit in Glasgow for the first time next week.
07/08/2017 Strengthening data protection
In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill.
01/08/2017 Developing sentencing guidelines
The Scottish Sentencing Council is consulting on a draft guideline that will set out the principles underlying sentencing decisions and the purposes they seek to achieve.
25/07/2017 Lady Hale appointed next President of Supreme Court
The Government has announced that Baroness Hale of Richmond will succeed Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury as President of the UK Supreme Court.
18/07/2017 Justice Vision and Priorities
he Scottish Government last week published a new ‘Vision and Priorities for Justice’ and its accompanying 2017-18 Delivery Plan.
05/07/2017 Sharing images without consent
The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 is now in force, making it easier to prosecute people who share intimate images without consent.
03/07/2017 Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders
Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders are now available for use by the courts as a means of protecting the public from perpetrators of human trafficking and exploitation.
22/06/2017 Evidence from child and vulnerable witnesses
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has published a report looking at the way evidence is taken from child and vulnerable witnesses.
01/06/2017 ECtHR changes delivery of single judge decisions
The ECtHR has launched a new approach to the delivery of single judge decisions, allowing more detailed reasoning to be included.
30/05/2017 New measures on alcohol
Offences to combat underage drinking in public came into force earlier this month.
22/05/2017 Consultation on animal welfare legislation
MSPs are consulting on proposed legislation that would ban the use of any non-domesticated animal travelling and performing in circuses.
12/05/2017 New stop and search code in force
A new code of practice setting out the principles under which the police can use ‘stop and search’ powers is now in force.
05/05/2017 Reconvictions lowest in 18 years
New figures show an 18 year low in the percentage of offenders reconvicted within a year and the average number of reconvictions per offender.
27/04/2017 Keep children at heart of hearings system
Improvements are needed to ensure that children remain at the heart of the system designed to protect them, say MSPs
25/04/2017 New curbs against drug-driving
The Scottish Government is bringing in new curbs against motorists who endanger other road-users by taking the wheel under the influence of drugs.
11/04/2017 Supreme Court confirms Scottish sitting dates
The UK Supreme Court has announced it will sit in Edinburgh between Monday 12th to Thursday 15th June 2017.
05/04/2017 New penalties for breaching financial sanctions
The Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation is now able to use powers to impose penalties for serious financial sanctions breaches
31/03/2017 Evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses
The Lord Justice Clerk has introduced a new Practice Note that is the first step towards transforming the way we take the evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses.
24/03/2017 New domestic abuse protocol
The Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams have launched a new Joint Protocol on Domestic Abuse.
21/03/2017 New powers to tackle domestic abuse
A new Bill to strengthen the laws against those who psychologically abuse their partners using coercive and controlling behaviour has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
02/03/2017 New law to protect children
New legislation to criminalise emotional abuse and neglect of children is to be introduced in Scotland.
13/02/2017 Fox hunting laws
The operation and enforcement of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 is to be strengthened.
02/02/2017 Independent review of legal aid
The Scottish Government has announced an independent review of legal aid to ensure it meets the changing needs of Scotland’s justice system.
31/01/2017 Review of hate crime legislation
The Scottish Government has announced a review of the suite of laws covering hate crime offences in Scotland.
18/01/2017 Review of limited partnership business model
The Government has launched a review looking at the uses of ‘limited partnerships’ in the UK.
16/01/2017 Call for evidence on corporate economic crime
The Ministry of Justice has issued a call for evidence on whether further reform is needed to combat corporate criminality
13/01/2017 Code of practice for stop and search
The principles determining when police can use ‘stop and search’ powers have been set out in a new code of practice.
04/01/2017 New penalties for enablers of offshore tax evasion
New sanctions are now in force to deter individuals or corporates who take deliberate action to help others evade paying tax.
16/12/2016 New President for the SSA
John Scott QC, a partner at Capital Defence Lawyers, has become the new President of the SSA
15/12/2016 Draft Fatal Accident Inquiries Rules
The Scottish Civil Justice Council is consulting on the draft Fatal Accident Inquiries Rules, which detail how FAIs will work in practice.
09/12/2016 Smoking in cars with children
A new law which makes it illegal to smoke in a vehicle carrying anyone under 18 is now in force. Anyone caught breaking the law will be committing an offence carrying a fine of up to £1,000.
06/12/2016 Change to age of criminal responsibility?
The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Scotland is to be increased to 12, under plans set out by the Minister for Childcare & Early Years, Mark McDonald
22/11/2016 Fox hunting laws reviewed
A report on the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 has been submitted to the Scottish Government by the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy.
15/11/2016 UK to opt in to revised Europol framework
The Government has announced that it intends to opt into a new regulation that gives legal footing to the new framework for Europol.
09/11/2016 Moving forward on stop and search
The Scottish Government has decided not to create a new power for police to search young people for alcohol, after listening to the views of young people as well as justice and children’s groups.
12/10/2016 Human Trafficking Strategy
The Scottish Government is consulting on its Human Trafficking Strategy, which aims to disrupt perpetrators and improve support for victims.
10/10/2016 SSC announces first guidelines
The first set of guidelines to be developed by the Scottish Sentencing Council will include death by driving, and environment & wildlife offences.
04/10/2016 Expanding tagging sentences
The Scottish Government is to continue to expand the use of electronic tags to help reduce reoffending levels and keep communities safe
23/09/2016 Queen’s Counsel appointments
Solicitor advocate Iain McSporran is among thirteen new Queen’s Counsel appointed by Her Majesty the Queen this week.
19/09/2016 Lords inquiry into legislative process
The House of Lords Constitution Committee has issued a call for evidence in respect of a new Inquiry into the legislative process.
12/09/2016 MSPs consider COPFS
The effectiveness of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) as Scotland’s independent prosecutor is the subject of a major new inquiry by MSPs
24/08/2016 New sanctions for offshore tax evaders
HM Revenue and Customs has set out plans for tough new sanctions for tax evaders.
22/08/2016 Fatal Accident Inquiries Report
The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland last week published a thematic report on Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs).
11/08/2016 New statistics from SCRA
Recently published statistics from the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration reveal a drop in the number of children and young people with Child Protection Orders received in 2015/16
03/08/2016 New Sheriff Principal
The Scottish Government recently announced the appointment of Sheriff Craig Turnbull as Sheriff Principal of the Sheriffdom of Glasgow and Strathkelvin.
20/07/2016 New Vice President for Sheriff Appeal Court
Sheriff Principal Abercrombie, QC, has been confirmed as the new Vice President to the Sheriff Appeal Court.
07/07/2016 More urgent cases for Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has seen an increase in the number of cases in which it sits as a panel of more than five Justices or where parties request the urgent hearing of a case.
28/06/2016 National Cremation Investigation report
The Scottish Government has published the report from the National Cremation Investigation into circumstances surrounding historic infant cremation practices.
24/06/2016 SLAB appointments
The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs has announced the appointment of Ray Macfarlane as Chair of the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB), along with five new board members.
22/06/2016 Recorded crime drops 3.2%
New figures from Police Scotland reveal a drop of 3.2% in crime recorded between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016.
10/06/2016 Hate crime figures released
New statistics reveal a slight increase in incidents of hate crime reported to COPFS in 2015-16, compared to the previous year.
07/06/2016 Law Officer appointments
The First Minister last week recommended the appointment of James Wolffe QC and Alison Di Rollo as Scotland’s new law officers.
01/06/2016 Human trafficking laws now in force
Measures contained in The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 are now in force.
23/05/2016 New powers for the Scottish Parliament
The first law-making powers have transferred from Westminster to Holyrood under the Scotland Act 2016.
19/05/2016 Reconviction rates continue to fall
The proportion of people being reconvicted within 12 months has reached the lowest level in 17 years, according to new statistics.
17/05/2016 EU Court of Justice launches app
The Court of Justice of the European Union has launched its first app, called CVRIA, for smartphones and tablets.
12/05/2016 Senators appointed to College of Justice
The Scottish Government has announced the appointment of five new Senators to the College of Justice.
26/04/2016 New Lord Justice Clerk installed
The Right Hon. Lady Dorrian has been installed as the new Lord Justice Clerk and President of the Second Division of the Court of Session.
22/04/2016 Money laundering reforms proposed
Home Secretary Theresa May has released an action plan setting out details of proposals to reform the UK’s anti-money laundering and terrorist finance regime.
19/04/2016 Appointment of Lord Justice Clerk
The Rt. Hon Lady Dorrian QC has been appointed as the new Lord Justice Clerk.
04/04/2016 Summary Sheriffs
Summary Sheriffs began sitting in Scotland’s Sheriff Courts for the first time last week
31/03/2016 Strengthening domestic and sexual abuse law
The Scottish Parliament passed The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill earlier this month, tackling the way modern technology can be used to perpetrate abuse
29/03/2016 Lord Advocate to stand down
The Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC, confirmed last week that he will step down following May’s election.
14/03/2016 Support for vulnerable witnesses
The Scottish Government has published new figures that show vulnerable victims and witnesses are benefiting from more support when giving evidence in court
29/02/2016 SCTS publishes Evidence and Procedure Review - Next Steps
The SCTS has published its “Evidence and Procedure Review – Next Steps” report, recommending a new approach to ensure children and vulnerable witnesses are protected from further trauma while giving evidence
25/02/2016 Tackling human trafficking
A new law allowing life sentences for traffickers will come into effect on 31st May 2016
19/02/2016 Annual report on law reform
The SLC has published its Annual Report for 2015, highlighting the progress in law reform over the past year and the events held to mark the 50th anniversary of the Commission.
16/02/2016 Strengthening community justice
The Scottish Parliament passed The Community Justice (Scotland) Bill last week. The Bill lays the groundwork for a new decentralised model of community justice.
10/02/2016 Criminal Verdicts (Scotland) Bill
The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has refused to endorse the Criminal Verdicts (Scotland) Bill in its Stage 1 report on the Bill.
08/02/2016 First summary sheriffs appointed
Scotland’s first summary sheriffs have been appointed as part of the modernisation of the court system
01/02/2016 Automatic early prison release ends
Changes to the system of automatic early release from prison are now in force, meaning that no long-term prisoner in Scotland will now be eligible for automatic release after two thirds of their sentence
21/01/2016 Support for Abusive Behaviour Bill
The Justice Committee has published a report supporting the general principles of a Scottish Government Bill that aims to improve how the justice system responds to abusive behaviour.
11/01/2016 Lord Carloway installed as Lord President
The Right Honourable Lord Carloway was installed last week as the new Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session
05/01/2016 Consultation on domestic abuse offence
The Scottish Government recently launched a consultation to discuss how a specific offence to tackle domestic abuse across Scotland might be taken forward.
14/12/2015 Fatal Accident Inquiry Bill passed
New laws to modernise the Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) process have been passed by the Scottish Parliament.
09/12/2015 Criminal Justice Bill passes Stage 3
A new law designed to reform the criminal justice system has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.
07/12/2015 EU Council adopts reform of General Court
The European Council of Ministers has adopted a regulation that should enable the General Court to face an increasing workload and ensure that legal redress in the EU is guaranteed within a reasonable time.
03/12/2015 Directive on Terrorism?
The European Commission has proposed a package of measures to step up the fight against terrorism and the illegal trafficking of firearms and explosives.
01/12/2015 Draft Investigatory Powers Bill
The Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill has published a call for evidence.
24/11/2015 Community Justice Bill passes Stage 1
Government plans to strengthen the community justice system in Scotland have passed Stage 1.
18/11/2015 Scottish Sentencing Council officially launched
The new Scottish Sentencing Council was officially launched earlier this week at an event in Parliament Hall, Edinburgh.
16/11/2015 Justice Committee looks at community justice arrangements
The Stage 1 report on the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill, which aims to create a new community justice model for Scotland, has been published.
05/11/2015 Directive on presumption of innocence
A compromise text has been agreed on a Directive on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial
12/10/2015 Modernising the law on domestic and sexual abuse
The Scottish Government has introduced a Bill to improve access to justice for survivors of domestic abuse
05/10/2015 Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill
A new law introducing life sentences for traffickers was introduced in Scotland for the very first time last week, when the Scottish Parliament passed the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill.
29/09/2015 Reform of short prison sentences?
The Scottish Government is consulting on new measures to tackle ‘ineffective’ short prison sentences
23/09/2015 New courts open
The new Criminal Sheriff Appeal Court and Sheriff Personal Injury Court opened their doors yesterday, marking the start of the new legal year and a major change in the Scottish justice system.
16/09/2015 Action to reduce reoffending
The Scottish Government has announced new measures to make prison release dates more flexible.
07/09/2015 New measures to support victims and witnesses
New measures from the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 are in now force.
01/09/2015 Changes to press reporting restrictions in court
Changes to the rules around press identification of children in criminal court cases are now in force.
27/08/2015 SCCRC appointments
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice has announced three appointments to the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCCRC), including that of solicitor advocate Colin Dunipace.
19/08/2015 Fall in crime on Britain’s railways
Crime on Britain’s railways has fallen by 8% this year, when compared to 2013/14, according to the British Transport Police
14/08/2015 Fall in referrals to the Reporter
There was a 16.9% drop in the number of referrals to the Reporter over the past year, says the SCRA.
10/08/2015 UK launches International Corruption Unit
The UK is stepping-up its work to investigate cases of international corruption affecting developing countries through a new specialist unit.
31/07/2015 Appointment of new sheriffs
Solicitor Advocate Chris Dickson and Olga Pasportnikov have been appointed as sheriffs of Grampian, Highland and Islands.
20/07/2015 Penalties for online copyright theft
The UK Government has launched a consultation on plans to increase the maximum sentence for commercial-scale online copyright infringement.
24/06/2015 Prisoners (Control of Release) (Scotland) Bill
A Bill to end automatic early release from prison for the most serious offenders has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.
22/06/2015 New plans for women in custody announced
Scotland is to adopt a new approach to dealing with female offenders with a move towards custody in the community
15/06/2015 Drop in hate crime in Scotland
Newly published statistics show that over the last year there has been a drop of 9% in the number of racial crimes committed in Scotland.
02/06/2015 Historical abuse of children in care Inquiry
The Scottish Government announced last week that Susan O’Brien QC will chair the statutory national public Inquiry into historical abuse of children in care.
29/05/2015 Advocate General for Scotland appointed
The UK government has announced that Richard Keen QC has been appointed as the Advocate General for Scotland.
27/05/2015 Sheriff Appeal Court appointments
The Lord President has confirmed the appointment of Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen QC as the President of the new Sheriff Appeal Court and Sheriff Principal Craig Scott QC as Vice President.
21/05/2015 Views sought on Community Justice Bill
The Justice Committee has issued a call for written evidence as it prepares to consider the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill.
13/05/2015 View Supreme Court proceedings
The UK Supreme Court last week launched an on-demand video archive of past hearings
08/05/2015 Community Justice (Scotland) Bill
The Scottish Government has published the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill, which will create a new model for community justice in Scotland.
27/04/2015 Support for Human Trafficking Bill
The Justice Committee has supported the general principles of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Bill
22/04/2015 Further delay to corroboration abolition
Plans to end the requirement for corroboration in criminal trials have been put on hold, says the Scottish Government
21/04/2015 EU money laundering rules progress
New EU rules aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing were approved by the Council of Ministers this week
02/04/2015 Stop and Search review
A new independent advisory group is to be established to examine the use of stop and search powers in Scotland.
19/03/2015 Support for early release Bill
The Justice Committee has published a report welcoming plans to end the current system of automatic early release for certain types of prisoner
04/03/2015 Review of agricultural crime prosecution policy
The Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC, has announced a full review of the way agricultural crimes are prosecuted in Scotland.
18/02/2015 Scottish Sentencing Council date announced
The Scottish Government has confirmed that the new Scottish Sentencing Council (SSC) will be established by October this year.
12/02/2015 Cross-border sharing of traffic offender data
The European Parliament has approved revised rules on the cross-border sharing of traffic offenders’ data. The aim is to ensure that drivers who commit offences while abroad in the EU do not escape fines.
09/02/2015 SLC publishes new Programme
The Scottish Law Commission has published its Ninth Programme of Law Reform, setting out the work it plans to undertake over the next three years.
04/02/2015 Reform of automatic early release
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced an end to the current system of automatic early release for all offenders serving more than four years.
28/01/2015 Court Reform timetable
In a speech this week at the Holyrood Digital Justice Conference, the Lord President set out the timetable for the commencement of provisions of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.
14/01/2015 Prison monitoring reforms approved
A new system to improve the way in which prisons are monitored in Scotland is to be introduced.
07/01/2015 Two new sheriffs
The Scottish Government has announced that Gillian Wade QC and Simon Collins QC have both been appointed as floating sheriffs of Tayside, Central and Fife.
10/12/2014 Tax avoidance and unfair tax competition - agreements
The European Council of Ministers this week achieved two breakthrough agreements towards combating corporate tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning.
04/12/2014 Social media prosecution policy revealed
COPFS has launched written policy guidance on communications sent via social media, to clarify when such communications will amount to criminal conduct
25/11/2014 Recorded crime reaches 40 year low
Recorded crime in Scotland has reached a record 40 year low, according to the newly published Recorded Crime Statistics
19/11/2014 Parliament passes lower drink drive limit
A lower drink drive limit for Scotland will come into force on 5th December after the Scottish Parliament unanimously voted in favour of the new law.
27/10/2014 Lower drink-drive limit
The Scottish Government has laid an order in Parliament that, if approved, will bring in a reduced drink-drive limit.
13/10/2014 Wilful neglect to be made an offence
Consultation launched on new legal protections against ill-treatment or wilful neglect in the NHS or social care in Scotland.
20/08/2014 Scottish Clare’s Law pilot areas announced
Police Scotland has announced that a disclosure scheme for domestic abuse is to be piloted in Aberdeen City and Ayrshire from November.
15/08/2014 Automatic early release to end?
A Bill to end automatic early release from prison for the most serious offenders has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
09/07/2014 Appointment of new sheriffs
Two solicitor advocates are among six new sheriffs recently appointed by Her Majesty the Queen, on the recommendation of the First Minister.
25/06/2014 Equally Safe strategy launched
A new strategy aims to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls, creating a society where all can feel equally safe and respected.
23/06/2014 Mental Health Bill published
Scottish Ministers have published the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill, which will ensure that victims of crime are notified when offenders are released from mental health institution.
12/06/2014 More action on IP crime
A new report has been published looking at the extent of intellectual property crime and the UK's response to it.
09/06/2014 Children in criminal proceedings
EU Justice Ministers have agreed a general approach to special safeguards for children during criminal court proceedings.
02/06/2014 Most social work orders include unpaid work
More social work orders than ever before contain an element of unpaid work, according to figures released last week.
28/05/2014 Phase II of court restructuring
Phase II of the court restructuring being carried out by the Scottish Court Service (SCS) is set to begin on 31st May.
26/05/2014 Sports corruption treaty moves forward
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has given a green light to a proposed treaty that will tackle corruption in sport.
08/05/2014 New approach to domestic abuse
The Solicitor General has called for a new approach to the problem of domestic abuse in Scotland.
28/04/2014 Delay to Criminal Justice Bill
The Stage 2 deliberations into the Criminal Justice Bill are now set to take place after Lord Bonomy’s review group has reported in Spring 2015.
07/04/2014 Automatic early release under consideration
The Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee has published a call for evidence on proposals to end automatic early release for some offenders.
19/03/2014 Crackdown on human trafficking
A proposed Human Trafficking Bill has been announced by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
14/03/2014 The European Investigation Order Directive
The EU Council of Ministers has adopted a Directive regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters.
03/03/2014 European Investigation Order rules
MEPs have approved new rules that should allow a better response to judicial authorities asking their colleagues in another EU country to carry out investigations there.
27/02/2014 Corroboration review group - membership
Lord Bonomy has confirmed the membership of the reference group that will look at additional safeguards that might be needed when the corroboration requirement is abolished.
11/02/2014 Corroboration reference group
A reference group will consider what additional safeguards will be necessary if the corroboration reforms are implemented.
27/01/2014 Forced marriage proposals approved
The Scottish Parliament has approved UK-wide legislation that will make forced marriage a criminal offence in Scotland.
17/01/2014 Call for action on child sexual exploitation
The Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee has published a report on child sexual exploitation, warning that more needs to be done to tackle the issue.
13/01/2014 New Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission
The new Chair to the Scottish Law Commission has been appointed: the Hon Lord Pentland will succeed Lady Clark of Calton in the post.
08/01/2014 New sheriffs appointed
Solicitor Advocate Robert Fife and solicitor Shirley Foran have been appointed as sheriffs of North Strathclyde, according to the Scottish Government.
18/12/2013 New Senators to the College of Justice
The Scottish Government has announced the appointment of Sheriff Rita Rae QC and Sarah Wolffe QC as Senators to the College of Justice.
16/12/2013 Housebreaking prosecution policy tightened
A new prosecution policy for housebreaking will be in effect over the holiday period, Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC announced today.
06/12/2013 Cross-border crime investigation changes
Agreement has been reached on a Directive that should make it easier for judicial authorities to request investigative measures and obtain evidence in another EU country.
27/11/2013 The right to a fair trial
The European Commission has put forward a package of proposals to further strengthen procedural safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings.
20/11/2013 The future of the European Court of Human Rights
The Council of Europe has launched a public consultation on the longer-term future of Europe’s human rights system, based on the European Convention on Human Rights and the European court in Strasbourg.
18/11/2013 Forced marriage – call for evidence
The Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament has issued a call for evidence on certain aspects of a UK Bill dealing with forced marriage.
15/11/2013 Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
Legislation to merge the Scottish Court Service and the Scottish Tribunals Service into the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service will be brought forward early next year.
14/11/2013 Programme of court closures underway
The Scottish Court Service has confirmed that its programme of restructuring began this month with the last sitting day at Annan Justice of Peace Court.
28/10/2013 Cameras in court – consultation
The Review Group looking at the policy of recording and broadcasting proceedings in court has launched a consultation on ‘Cameras and live text-based communication in the Scottish courts’.
16/10/2013 New policy for crimes against the elderly
COPFS has published a new prosecution policy aimed at dealing with crimes against older people.
07/10/2013 The right of access to a lawyer
The European Council of Ministers has formally adopted a directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings.
30/09/2013 Lord Hodge to be sworn in
Lord Hodge will be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice tomorrow (1st October), joining the UK’s highest court at the start of its fifth year.
17/09/2013 Responses to court reform consultation
The Scottish Government has published details of the responses it received to its consultation on Courts Reform, launched in March this year.
12/09/2013 Fortis Chambers
The first chambers consisting only of solicitor advocates has been launched in Scotland. Fortis Chambers offers criminal law services in both the trial and appeal courts from both senior and junior counsel.
09/09/2013 Reconviction rates fall again
Reconviction rates in Scotland are now at their lowest level in 14 years, according to new Government statistics.
27/08/2013 Rehabilitation of Offenders – a discussion paper
The Scottish Government has published a discussion paper on how the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 might be modernised and reformed in Scotland.
14/08/2013 The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
A new report from the SCCJR has revealed that over one third of Scottish men and nearly a tenth of women are likely to have one or more criminal convictions.
01/08/2013 Firearms licensing and domestic violence
Individuals with a history of domestic violence should not be permitted to possess a firearm or shotgun, according to newly published Home Office guidance
22/07/2013 Progress on plans to tackle VAT fraud
The European Council of Ministers has adopted two directives aimed at dealing with VAT fraud.
11/07/2013 UK to opt-out of EU crime measures
The UK is to opt out of EU policing and criminal justice measures, the Government announced this week
25/06/2013 Step closer to abolition of corroboration
The Scottish Government has included provisions to abolish corroboration in criminal trials in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, published last week.
19/06/2013 Drop in recorded crime
New statistics have shown a fall of 13% in the number of crimes recorded by the police in Scotland between 2011-12 and 2012-13.
10/06/2013 Changes to careless driving penalties
The Government last week announced that new measures will soon give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving
03/06/2013 Committee supports Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill
Communications between criminal justice organisations and victims and witnesses must be improved, according to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.
27/05/2013 Forum for adults placed in care as children
Proposals to create a National Confidential Forum have been supported by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee.
23/05/2013 EU-wide protection order goes ahead
Victims of violence will soon be able to count on EU-wide protection, after the European Parliament voted to endorse the European Commission's proposal for an EU-wide protection order
20/05/2013 Juries confused about internet rules
New research has revealed that almost a quarter of jurors are confused about the rules on internet use during a trial.
07/05/2013 New rules for drink drivers
The Department for Transport has announced the tightening of some rules relating to drink drivers. These effectively mean that from 1st June High Risk Offenders will have to pass a medical before they are allowed back on the roads.

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