Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Liberal Democrat

I advise the cabinet secretary that he might come to regret the claim that he never aims to disappoint, but I assure him that we will support amendment 125. We recognise that this is an area in which Mary Fee has done a huge amount of work and made great strides, not just when she was a member of the Justice Committee but during her time in Parliament.

I thank Gordon Lindhurst for bringing amendment 3 back at stage 3. He set out the case well to the committee at stage 2. I am grateful to him for sharing the correspondence that he and the cabinet secretary have had in the interim.

Although I accept the cabinet secretary’s point about not wanting to build in too much rigidity to the work of the Parole Board for Scotland, it is difficult to see the general principles that are set out in amendment 3 altering over time. The point was well made that the wording reflects what is already in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. For that reason, we will support amendment 3.