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Language: English / GĂ idhlig

Chamber and committees

Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee

Meeting date: Tuesday, April 23, 2024



Makaton Sign Language (Legal System) (PE1787)

The Convener (Karen Adam)

Good morning, and welcome to the 10th meeting in 2024 of the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee. We have no apologies.

Our first agenda item is consideration of a continued petition, PE1787, on the use of Makaton sign language in the legal system. I refer members to paper 1.

At our meeting in late February last year, committee members discussed how much further we could progress the petition, given its narrow scope. We ultimately kept the petition open to seek further information, as is outlined in paragraph 3 of the paper, and that information is summarised in paragraphs 5 and 6. The clerks recently received an update from Scottish Government officials, which is included in full as an annex to the paper and is summarised in paragraphs 8 to 10.

We are invited to consider whether to close the petition at this point. Although there is no specific set guidance on the use of Makaton in the legal system, a number of policies, duties and practices are in place that are designed to ensure that relevant authorities provide as much support as possible for people to communicate in a way that is most accessible to them.

As no member has indicated that they have any thoughts on those points, do we agree to close the petition?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

We are therefore agreed to close the petition under rule 15.7 of standing orders, on the basis that a number of measures are in place to make communication as accessible as possible. There might be further opportunities for the petitioner and others to highlight consideration of Makaton in future legislation, including the Scottish human rights bill.

I thank petitioner Sandra Docherty for lodging the petition and for helping to raise awareness of Makaton.

10:02 Meeting suspended.  

10:03 On resuming—