The Community Justice (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 11th February 2016, to take forward the legislative change needed to establish the new community justice model in Scotland.  The Bill received Royal Assent on 21st March 2016, and as such is now the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.

The aim of the Act

The Policy Memorandum accompanying the Bill stated that the aim of the Bill was “to help create a stronger community justice system based on local collaborative strategic planning and delivery, with national leadership, support and assurance”.

The Bill documents

The  Justice Committee is the Lead Committee for this piece of legislation. The Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 7th May 2015 and accompanying documents can be accessed on the Committee’s website:

The Contents of the Act

The Act sets out:

  • A definition for community justice
  • The list of community justice statutory partners
  • Duties on community justice statutory partners
  • A definition of Third Sector bodies involved in community justice
  • The functions and powers of the national body (Community Justice Scotland)
  • The requirements for developing, publishing and reviewing the National Strategy for Community Justice in Scotland
  • The requirements for developing, publishing and reviewing the National Performance Framework for Community Justice in Scotland
  • The requirements for developing and reviewing local Community Justice  Outcome Improvement plans
  • Performance Reporting requirements.

The Bill has now been passed by the Scottish Parliament. Further information about its progress through Parliament to-date can be found below.   Details about the general Bill process can be found on the Scottish Parliament’s website.

Stage 3 (Consideration of further amendments and decision to pass or reject the Bill)

Stage 3 proceedings took place in Parliament on the afternoon of 11th February and the Bill was successfully passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The Bill now includes requirements for statutory community justice partners to engage with third sector bodies in relation to local planning and reporting of community justice services, as well as national strategic developments.  CJVSF has produced a short briefing which summarises the outcomes of the debate that are likely to be of particular interest to third sector organisations.  To read our full briefing for Stage 3, please click here.

Stage 2 (Consideration of the Bill in detail and decision on proposed amendments)

Jan 2016 – Consideration of the Bill in detail by The Justice Committee

At Stage 2, the Justice Committee considered the Bill in detail and took a decision on each of the proposed amendments.  A copy of the Bill, as amended at Stage 2, is available here.

The official reports for the Justice Committee meetings  where Stage 2 considerations took place can be accessed at the links below:

A full list of the proposed amendments that were put forward at Stage 2 can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.  A number of the proposed amendments would have implications for third sector organisations.  CJVSF therefore produced a short briefing on the relevant proposed amendments, along with feedback that we  received from members  in relation to these. To read our Stage 2 briefing, please click here.

Stage 1 (Scrutiny by the Justice Committee)

At Stage 1, the  Lead Committee’s role was “to report to the Parliament on the general principles of the Bill – that is, on the principal purposes of the Bill, rather than the fine detail. (In other words, the report should look at the Bill ‘in the round’ without anticipating the detailed scrutiny that is more properly a matter for Stage 2)” 

To read CJVSF’s full briefing on the contents of the Bill as introduced at Stage 1, please click here.

Nov 2015: Stage 1 Debate

The  Community Justice (Scotland) Bill Stage 1 debate took place on 19th November 2015 and the Bill was ultimately voted through Stage 1 without any opposition for the general principles.

A copy of the official report from the debate can be accessed from the Scottish Parliament’s website.

Nov 2015: Justice Committee Stage 1 Report

The Justice Committee published its Stage 1 Report on the 11th November 2015 and focused on the following themes:

  • The definition of community justice
  • The cluttered, complex landscape
  • Strategic leadership and accountability
  • The functions of Community Justice Scotland
  • Community Justice Partners
  • Short-term funding
  • Implementation.

The Scottish Government’s response to the Stage 1 report was published on 11th January 2016 and can be accessed here.

Oct 2015: Finance Committee’s report on the Financial Memorandum

In October 2015, the Finance Committee published its report on the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill’s Financial Memorandum.   The report is available to access here.

Sept – Oct 2015: Stage 1: Oral Evidence Sessions

Following the Calls for Evidence (Please see below for further information about the Calls for Evidence) both the Justice Committee and the Finance Committee held oral evidence sessions in September and October 2015 to assist with the consideration of the legislation.

CJVSF participated in evidence session 3 – Please see below for further information.

Justice Committee Evidence Sessions

Evidence session 4 – 6th October 2015

Participants:

  • Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs
  • Andy Bruce, Community Justice Division, Scottish Government
  • Arlene Stuart, Community Justice Operational Unit, Scottish Government
  • Elaine Hamilton, Community Justice (Scotland) Bill team, Scottish Government
  • Craig French, Legal Services Directorate, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn O’Malley, Legal Services Directorate, Scottish Government

Please click these links to be taken to the Official Report or the Video of the session.

Evidence session 3 – 22nd September 2015:

Participants:

  • Alan Staff, Chief Executive, Apex Scotland
  • Laura Mulcahy, Development Co-ordinator, Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum
  • Professor Nancy Loucks, Chief Executive, Families Outside
  • Pete White, National Co-ordinator, Positive Prison? Positive Futures…
  • Tom Halpin, Chief Executive, Sacro
  • Louise Johnson, Legal Issues Worker, Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Emma Dore, Senior Policy Officer, Shelter Scotland
  • Christine Scullion, Head of Development, The Robertson Trust
  • Nicola Merrin, Policy Officer, Victim Support Scotland.

Please click these links to be taken to the Official Report or the Video of the session.

Evidence session 2 – 15th September 2015:

Participants:

  • Councillor Harry McGuigan, Spokesperson for Community Well-being, and John Wood, Policy Officer, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Alex McCallum, Service Manager, Dumfries and Galloway Criminal Justice Social Work Service
  • Councillor Peter McNamara, Chair, National Community Justice Convenors Group
  • Michael Stewart, Service Manager, Outer Hebrides Criminal Justice Social Work Service
  • Amanda Coulthard, West Dunbartonshire Community Planning Partnership
  • Lorraine Gillies, West Lothian Community Planning Partnership
  • Dr Graham Foster, Director of Public Health, Forth Valley Health Board
  • John Watt, Chair, Parole Board for Scotland
  • Chief Superintendent Grant Manders, Police Scotland
  • Mark McSherry, Head of Development, Risk Management Authority Scotland
  • Teresa Medhurst, Director, Strategy and Innovation, Scottish Prison Service
  • Sean McKendrick, Vice Chair, Criminal Justice Standing Committee, Social Work Scotland

Please click these links to be taken to the Official Report or the Video of the session.

Evidence session 1 – 1st September 2015:

Participants:

• Rt. Hon Dame Elish Angiolini , Chair of the Commission on Women Offenders
• Mark Roberts, Senior Manager at Audit Scotland
• Cleland Sneddon, Executive Director of Community Services, Argyll and Bute Council; Representing SOLACE and Senior Managers Scotland

Please click these links to be taken to the Official Report or the Video of the session.

Finance Committee Evidence Session

Evidence session 1 – 9th September 2015

Participants:

  • Elaine Hamilton, Bill Team Leader
  • Arlene Stuart, Head of Community Justice Operational Unit, Scottish Government
  • Andrew Bruce, Deputy Director, Community Justice, Scottish Government.

Please click these links to be taken to the Official Report or the Video of the session.

May – Aug 2015: Stage 1 Calls for Evidence

In the summer 2015, the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee sought views on the general principles of the Community Justice (Scotland) Bill.  Further information about the Call for Evidence can be found on the Scottish Parliament’s website.  CJVSF provided a written response, highlighting the need for stronger engagement with individuals and families affected by the community justice system and with third sector providers.    Copies of all the submissions received by the Committee are available to download from the Scottish Parliament’s website.  A copy of CJVSF’s written response to the Justice Committee can also be accessed from our resources page.

The Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee also issued a Call for Evidence, seeking views on the financial implications of the Bill.   Copies of all the submissions received by the Committee are available to download from the Scottish Parliament’s website. CJVSF’s written response to the Finance Committee can also be accessed from our resources page.

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