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 Kerr Liam Kerr Conservative

That is a reasonable point, and I am grateful for it. At stage 2, several members raised the concern that the court system would not have the resources to prepare a summary. I understand that point, but surely if something is the right thing to do, it is up to the Government to assess what resources the courts would need, especially for such a crucial bit of communication between the courts and criminal justice social work.

The cabinet secretary said in committee that there is no mechanism across all court business for routinely collecting and transmitting such evidence. Surely that is the problem, and that is what my amendment seeks to address. If agreed to, it would be up to the court to decide what form the summary took, and I am sure that it could create a format that would work best for it.

My amendment seeks to ensure that social workers have as much evidence as practical in front of them before making crucial risk assessments, which will inform judges’ decisions about whether an offender is safe to be on our streets.

I believe that I have answered the challenges, and I seek Parliament’s approval of the amendment.

I move amendment 144.