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 Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

At stage 2, I supported Daniel Johnson’s amendments, which removed the term “offender” from part 1 of the bill. The Government listened to the concerns that were expressed and supported the changes so that nobody would feel stigmatised by the language of the legislation. At stage 2, when I signalled that I supported the principle behind Daniel Johnson’s amendments, I indicated that the Government would need time to reflect on the technical impact on the drafting of the bill, and that it might need to revisit the terminology for readability and workability.

As things stand, the label “relevant person” does not work, because it is undefined. As we reflected on how to address that problem in a way that would be consistent with the Justice Committee’s view at stage 2, we realised that there is, in fact, no need at all for the bill to apply labels to people who are subject to electronic monitoring. We need not call them “relevant persons”; they are simply persons who happen to be subject to a monitoring requirement. The amendments in my name therefore get rid of the labels altogether, with only a few exceptions where the label “monitored person” is used to distinguish the person who is subject to a monitoring requirement from the person who is designated to carry out the monitoring.

Amendment 145 is a clarificatory amendment to put beyond doubt that references to disposals in part 1 are not confined to the final disposals in a case.

I invite members to support the amendments in my name in the group, and to reject the amendments from Liam Kerr, which would reinstate the word “offender” in direct contradiction of the decision of the Justice Committee at stage 2. To be clear, using the label “offender” does nothing to improve the bill’s technical precision and has no other legal effect.

I move amendment 4.