On 24 August 2020 the Education and Skills Committee at the Scottish Parliament launched a call for views on the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill.
- A link to the call for views is here. A link to guidance issued on creating a submission in response to this call is here.
- The closing date for responses is 2 October 2020.
The Education and Skills Committee has been designated as the lead committee for stage 1 scrutiny of the bill. This committee is likely to hear oral evidence on the bill as part of its consideration of responses to the call for views. It will then report to the Scottish Parliament whereupon the parliament will debate the general principles of the bill at stage 1 and vote on whether it should proceed. If parliament votes for the bill to proceed then it will move onto detailed line-by-line scrutiny at stage 2 with possible amendment to its terms. Further amendment is then possible at stage 3 when the Scottish Parliament will consider whether to pass the bill – as amended – to become law on the grant of Royal Assent.
Time is of the essence with the Scottish in-care redress bill because the current fifth session of the Scottish Parliament will be dissolved in March 2021 ahead of an election of members to the sixth session on 6 May 2021. Bills which have not passed all three legislative stages by the point of dissolution fall but may be re-introduced to the new parliament.
Our further detailed analysis of certain of the bill’s provisions will follow on this blog soon though it is worth noting Scottish Government’s open emphasis that “every single word” of the 70-page bill is open to amendment. Responses to the call for views therefore have a significant part to play in shaping the proposed legislation.