The Letter of Rights is given to suspects and accused persons held in police custody in Scotland. Its purpose is to clearly explain their rights as provided for in domestic legislation.
The Scottish Government introduced a non-statutory Letter of Rights for Scotland in 2013 which was updated in 2018 to take account of provisions under the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.
Following the introduction of an updated Letter of Rights in January 2018, to coincide with commencement of part 1 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016, the Scottish Government undertook to consult on potential changes to the Letter of Rights in 2019 to capture lessons learned.
To ensure the Letter of Rights is fit for purpose, the Scottish Government is keen to gather views on the content and language used in the letter and the formats in which it is made accessible.
The purpose of this consultation is to seek the views of key stakeholders and members of the public on the current Letter of Rights for Scotland.
Structure of the Consultation Paper
This paper provides a brief background to the Letter of Rights. Questions can be found under each of the relevant sections and a summary of the questions is given at the end of this paper.
The current standard Letter of Rights is at Annex A, the current 'easy read' version is at Annex B, a list of translations is at Annex C and the stakeholders that have been invited to respond can be found at Annex D.
Responding to this Consultation
We are inviting responses to this consultation by 13 December 2019
Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space (http://consult.gov.scot). Access and respond to this consultation online at https://consult.gov.scot/justice/letter-of-rights-for-scotland . You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 13 December 2019.
If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub , please send your response with the completed Respondent Information Form which is found at Annex E to: LORConsultation@gov.scot
Access to Justice Team
St Andrew's House
Handling your response
If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the About You page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document.
Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.
Comments and complaints
If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted,
please send them to the contact address above or at LORConsultation@gov.scot .
Scottish Government consultation process
Consultation is an essential part of the policymaking process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.
You can find all our consultations online at: http://consult.gov.scot. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.
Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.