After section 3

Part of Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:30 pm on 6th March 2002.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mike Rumbles Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrat 3:30 pm, 6th March 2002

Bill Aitken has just said that Phil Gallie had the right to lodge amendment 10 at stage 3. No one is questioning Phil Gallie's right to do that; we are questioning the appropriateness of his choosing to raise the issue at this stage.

Phil Gallie highlighted some instances where there have been false accusations and where there is a real issue of anonymity. I sympathise with that point, but I will vote against amendment 10, because of the process that has been applied. Members from all parts of the chamber are genuinely sympathetic to the anonymity issue. However, the issue is big and needs to be examined thoroughly.

Committees can call evidence at stage 1. I would like to see the Justice 2 Committee's evidence on the subject of anonymity. Such evidence could even have been called at stage 2. I do not accept the points that Brian Monteith made. Although votes on amendments are taken at stage 2, it is possible to call for further evidence at that stage if the committee so desires.

There is no doubt about it: if individual MSPs such as me have to come into the chamber for a stage 3 debate to see amendments such as amendments 10 and 17, that is not sufficient. I acknowledge that the amendments were published in the business bulletin, but I did not see them. Phil Gallie's approach is no way to make law.