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Parliamentary Report for the 22nd – 26th March, 2010

2010 March 31
by Mary Munro
Debating chamber Scottish Parliament Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body - 2011

Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body - 2011

This week, the Justice Committee heard further oral evidence in Stage 2 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill, relating to amendments on mandatory sentencing for knife crime, prostitution and stalking. In the Chamber there was a debate about the Government’s recently launched consultation on changing the ‘double jeopardy’ law, and there were also questions for the Law and Justice Officers.

The Justice Committee

Stage 2 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill – evidence on late amendments

At a previous meeting, the Committee had decided to take the unusual step of hearing further oral evidence at Stage 2. This is because some of the tabled amendments sought to make a number of radical changes to the Bill on subjects which had not been debated at all during the evidence gathering Stage 1 process. The stage two amendments were on the following subjects:

  • Prostitution – these amendments have been put forward by Trish Goldman (Lab) ad Margo MacDonald (Ind).
  • Sentencing for knife crime – these amendments have been put forward by Richard Baker on behalf of the Labour party, and an amendment on Mr Baker’s amendment has been lodged by Bill Aitken.
  • Stalking – these amendments have been lodged by Rhoda Grant (Lab) and the Government.

For more information about these amendments, you can read the Committee‘s call for evidence for more information

The Committee took evidence on Stage 2 amendments relating to prostitution offences from spokepersons from Scot-PEP; Glasgow Community and Safety Services; and ACPOS.

They heard evidence in relation to the amendments on stalking from Action Scotland Against Stalking; Victim Support Scotland; and ACPOS.

They heard evidence in relation to the amendments on sentencing on knife crime from John Muir, “Damian’s Law” Campaigner; and Chief Constable David Strang.

You can read the full transcripts of this meeting in the Official Report or watch it on Holyrood.TV.

The Health and Sports Committee

Alcohol Etc Bill

The committee held two meetings last week, hearing evidence in Stage 1 of the Bill. On Tuesday they held a video conference with experts in Canada, and on Wednesday, they heard from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Nicola Sturgeon. You will be able to access the transcripts of those meetings once they appear on the committee‘s homepage, where you will also be able to access more information about this Bill.

The Chamber

Debate on Double Jeopardy Law

On Wednesday, there was a Government led debate about double jeopardy law. This is in connection with the consultation the Government published at the beginning of the week, seeking views on reforming the law in this area.

You can read the full debate in the Official Report.

First Minister’s Questions

There was a question for the First Minister about the Government’s policy on Mephedrone and about child protection from sexual abuse

Questions to the Law and Justice Officers

There were questions about the procurement process for vehicles for fire and rescue services, about whether there was a need for a victims commissioner, about the number of police in the Highlands and Islands, about knife crime, about parades in Strathclyde, about how the cash for communities money is spent, and about funding for community safety schemes in local councils.

Written Questions

There were written questions about fixed penalties issues for antisocial behaviour, about how seized money is redistributed across the local authorities, a question which revealed that the Cabinet Secretary revealed he had no intention of reviewing his decision to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, about police force secondments to the SCDEA, and about what it is doing to tackle wildlife crime.

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