News In Focus
Evidence invited on two further members' bills
Submissions on two further members' bills in the Scottish Parliament have been invited by the Justice Committee while Parliament is in recess over the summer.
Calls for evidence were issued for the Domestic Violence (Scotland) Bill, and the Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill, ahead of the summer break, both with September deadlines.
Both bills are introduced by Labour members for the Highlands and Islands. Rhoda Grant's Domestic Violence (Scotland) Bill would amend the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 to remove the requirement to show a course of conduct before a non-harassment order can be granted in civil proceedings involving domestic abuse. It wouldl also amend the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 to make legal aid available without means testing in respect of all applications for an interdict with a power of arrest or a non-harassment order where domestic abuse is involved.
Click here to view the call for evidence. The deadline for submissions on this bill is 10 September 2010.
Introduced by Labour member David Stewart MSP, the Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Bill aims to promote and safeguard the interests of victims and witnesses. The bill envisages that the Commissioner would promote awareness and understanding of the interests of victims and witnesses, and best practice in relation to victims and witnesses, providing advice, guidance, education and training, and promoting or undertaking research.
Click here to view the call for evidence. The deadline for submissions on this bill is 24 September 2010.
The Justice Committee will sit to hear further evidence on Ms Grant's bill in October/November and on Mr Stewart's bill in November/December before issuing its stage 1 report in each case.
Other bills currently open to submissions include the Damages (Scotland) Bill, the Protection of Workers (Scotland) Bill, and the Palliative Care (Scotland) Bill. The Scottish Government is also consulting on aspects of the law relating to damages for wrongful death, and on longstanding Scottish Law Commission proposals on penalty clauses in contracts.