The Scottish Government lodged a supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum (LCM) on 11 November 2013 for the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.
The LCM explains why the Scottish Government would like the Scottish Parliament to give consent to the Westminster Parliament to legislate in certain areas which are devolved. The particular provisions of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill that this LCM wishes to be extended to Scotland cover:
- the criminalisation of forced marriage;
- the enforcement of civil protection orders relating to sexual offenders; and
- the functions of Scottish Ministers in relation to firearms offences.
The Justice Committee plans to consider the LCM and would very much like to hear the views of experts and stakeholders on the proposed legislation to inform Parliamentary scrutiny.
The Bill makes it a criminal offence for a person to use violence, threats or any other form of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a marriage without their free and full consent. Currently in Scotland, there is no offence of forced marriage; however breach of a forced marriage protection order (FMPO) is a criminal offence under the Forced Marriage etc (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011.
The LCM states that these provisions will ensure that the Scottish Government meets its international obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention).
Civil Preventative Orders
The Bill seeks to replace three civil orders, used in England and Wales, prescribing the activities of sexual offenders with two new ones. These orders are designed to protect people from harm and while they are imposed by courts in England and Wales, an LCM is required to ensure that any breach of the new orders will be an offence in Scotland.
Functions of the Scottish Ministers under Firearms Acts
The Bill contains provisions for a new firearms offence of possession for sale or transfer of any prohibited weapon. Consequently, additional functions under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 are required to be transferred to Scottish Ministers in relation to the new offences. The Bill will transfer afresh all the Secretary of State’s functions under this section, as amended, to the Scottish Ministers.
Call for evidence
The Committee would like to hear the views of stakeholders on the LCM. The Committee does not expect stakeholders to necessarily comment on all parts of the LCM.
The Committee would like to receive views on:
- whether or not the LCM procedure should be used in respect of the provisions on civil preventative orders;
- whether or not the LCM procedure should be used in respect of the provisions on firearms offences;
- whether or not the LCM procedure should be used in respect of the provisions on forced marriage and also:
- are the proposed provisions an improvement on the current legislation covering forced marriage in Scotland, and
- are the provisions the most effective way to ensure that the Scottish Government meets its international obligations, as set out in the Istanbul Convention; and
- any other comments you may have on the LCM.
The deadline for submissions is 5.00pm on Friday 29 November 2013.
The Parliamentary Business Bureau will assign the LCM to a Committee. It is anticipated that the Bureau will refer the LCM to the Justice Committee as the lead Committee. The Committee will consider the LCM and report to Parliament, which will then vote upon a legislative consent motion on whether to agree to the Westminster Parliament legislating on its behalf. The Scottish Parliament must vote on the motion before the last amending stage of the Bill at Westminster.
More information on the LCM procedure can be found here:
How to submit your evidence
Written submissions should be in MS Word or similar word processing format, and should be no longer than 4 sides of A4. If your submission is longer than this, please provide a short summary of the main points. Submissions should be set out in numbered paragraphs. If a submission refers to existing published material, it is preferable to provide hyperlinks rather than extensive extracts.
Before making a submission, please read the Parliament’s policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory committees.
If possible, written submissions should be submitted electronically by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard copy written submissions should be sent to:
Justice Committee Clerks
Any queries about written submissions should be addressed in the first instance to the Justice Committee clerking team at the above email address or on 0131 348 5047.