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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 17 March 2021

Agenda: Human Right to a Healthy Environment, Portfolio Question Time, Scotland’s Railway, Testing Strategy, Business Motion, Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Land Commissioners (Reappointment), Standing Order Rule Changes (Urgent Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions), Standing Order Rule Changes (Public Petitions System), Standing Order Rule Changes (Equalities and Human Rights Committee Remit), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Clydebank Blitz (80th Anniversary)


Contents


Standing Order Rule Changes (Equalities and Human Rights Committee Remit)

The next item of business is a debate on motion S5M-24374, in the name of Bill Kidd, on the remit of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee.

18:15  

Thank you, Presiding Officer. We must stop meeting like this.

The third report to which I am speaking today recommends a permanent change to rule 6.9 on the title and remit of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee in standing orders. During the current parliamentary session, human rights was added to the remit of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee. The committee asked the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to consider whether rule 6.9 should be amended permanently to extend its remit to include human rights.

Following consultation with the Justice Committee and the Parliamentary Bureau, the SPPA Committee agreed to propose that rule change. The revision proposed to rule 6.9 adds human rights to the name of the committee on a permanent basis and provides a definition of human rights for the remit.

I move,

That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 4th Report 2021 (Session 5), Standing Order Rule Changes — Equalities and Human Rights Committee Remit (SP Paper 965), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A of the report be made with effect from 12 May 2021.

18:16  

I welcome the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s report, which recommends that the remit of the mandatory Equalities Committee is permanently extended to include human rights. A vote in favour of the motion tonight will see the fulfilment of the committee’s recommendation on that in its 2018 report, “Getting Rights Right: Human Rights and the Scottish Parliament”.

It is important that human rights has a sustained long-term focus to ensure that the Parliament continues to develop its human rights practice and to strengthen its role as a human rights guarantor. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the need for that into sharp focus. The motion is welcome and timely.

The question on the motion will be put at decision time.