Bill to amend 2018 Act following Court of Session ruling.
Legislation to amend the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act has been published.
The Act, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2018, aims to address the under-representation of women in public life by setting an objective that 50% of a public board’s non-executive members are women.
The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Amendment) Bill aims to align the Act with the Court of Session ruling last year which stated that its inclusion of the definition of women was outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and it was therefore not law.
The Bill, if passed, will provide clarity by removing the redundant definition from the statute book.
Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Women’s voices need to be heard and acted on, especially by the public bodies that deliver services in our everyday lives.
“The Gender Representation on Public Boards Act sets an objective for public boards that 50% of their non-executive members are women.
“The legislation to amend the Act will align the Act with the Court of Session ruling to ensure the statute book is not misleading. This is something we believe we are required to do in light of the court’s ruling. The change does not impact how the 2018 Act has worked since the Court’s ruling.
“The Scottish Government remains committed to achieving greater gender equality and creating a fairer Scotland for everyone.”
The Court of Session ruled, with effect from 19 April 2022, that the definition of “woman” in the 2018 Act impinged upon the nature of protected characteristics as identified under the Equality Act 2010 and therefore it was not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback