Section 25 — Application for removal from list

Part of Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:16 am on 8th March 2007.

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Photo of Robert Brown Robert Brown Liberal Democrat 9:16 am, 8th March 2007

I thank Iain Smith for his kind words.

Amendment 29 clarifies, in response to concerns that Iain Smith expressed, arrangements for applications for removal from the list. As it is currently drafted, the bill allows ministers to prescribe minimum periods before individuals can apply for removal from the list. The committee's discussion of the matter showed that a certain ambiguity existed.

The amendment clarifies that such periods cannot be prescribed in relation to specific individuals. It means, for example, that ministers cannot specify that John Smith cannot apply for removal for seven years, but that Joe Bloggs has to wait only four years. It was never the policy intention to set specific time limits for particular individuals after listing them. I was therefore happy to lodge amendment 29, which puts the matter beyond doubt.

That said, the minimum period might depend on the circumstances relating to a listing decision. For example, the prescribed period for individuals who are listed for a childhood offence may be shorter than that for individuals who committed an offence as an adult. However, that will be achieved through regulations that will identify particular sets of circumstances in advance, rather than particular individuals in retrospect.

I move amendment 29.