disclosure bill

Disclosure (Scotland) Act

On 10th June 2020 the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill was passed, with the Disclosure (Scotland) Act  receiving Royal Assent on 14th July 2020. We were very supportive of legislation which reduced the barriers to employment for those people with convictions and in both written and oral evidence had argued that a more individualised approach could be taken to both adults and children. Much of the debate around the Bill's passing was concerned with what constituted 'other relevant information' and how the legislation could work alongside both Management of Offenders and the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility statutes. As is often the case, we were pleased with the direction of travel taken here, but would like to have seen a more nuanced line and consistently proportionate approach. 

Evidence to Education and Skills Committee: Disclosure (Scotland) Bill

On 6 November 2019, one of our Committee Members, Dr. Beth Weaver, gave oral evidence on our behalf to the Education and Skills Committee on the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill.  Her evidence focused on why individualised and structured discretionary models of disclosure could not be applied to adult, as well as, childhood convictions. She argued that the onus should not be on the individual to apply to have convictions removed and that no fee should be incurred for this. The issue of other relevant information (ORI) was deemed to be key and should only be disclosed when proportionate, balancing public protection against individuals' rights. With this in mind, she urged a need for legal clarification on what information "is" or "ought" to be relevant, highlighting the need for universal guiding principles to accompany the Bill.

Oral Evidence to Education and Skills Committee




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