Cross Justice Working Group on Race Data and Evidence minutes: June 2023

Minutes from the meeting held on 21st of June 2023

Attendees and apologies

  • Scottish Government (SG) Justice Analytical Services (JAS)
  • Scottish Government (SG) Police Division
  • Scottish Government (SG) Health, Equality Team
  • Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB)
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
  • Police Scotland (PS)
  • Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC)
  • Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA)
  • Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS)
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS)
  • Scottish Policing Authority (SPA)
  • Scottish Prison Service (SPS)
  • The Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO)
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
  • University of Glasgow

Items and actions

Review of Action points and minutes from last meeting

There were no outstanding action points from previous meeting.

There were no further comments or suggestions arising from the previous minutes.

Presentation and discussion on Ethnicity in the Justice system

JAS presented a summary of two recent papers:

‘Ethnicity in the Justice System - Review of Evidence’, and ‘Occasional Paper: analysing the ethnicity of individuals subject to hearings in Scottish courts’, followed by a discussion on the future direction of the working group.


The key points arising from the presentations:

  1. Summary of two recent publications on ethnicity and justice
  2. Outstanding data gaps
  3. Progress of the group to date
  4. Future research priorities
  5. Future direction of the working group

The achievements of the working group to date and its future direction were discussed. The general consensus was that the group was undoubtedly making good progress although it was noted that there is still room for improvement and it is crucial for everyone to continue working together as it is necessary to collect more, quantitative data, which can then be used to inform qualitative work and add a real understanding of people’s lived experiences. There was also an interest in exploring how intersections between race and other characteristics, including socio-economic background, impact on people’s experiences. Members offered to share their insights amongst the group noting that it is imperative not to be complacent going forward.

It has been agreed that the next meeting will be in the format of a roundtable discussion around ethnicity related research and members would be asked in advance to provide topics for this.


  • Members to consider if they have any ethnicity research or analysis to talk about at next meeting (All - JAS will email members about this)

JAS reiterated their ask for members to provide information on any ethnicity research projects they were involved in, and to provide details for a Ethnicity Research Contacts List.


  • Provide information on current or planned ethnicity research (All who have not already done so)
  • Provide contact details for research contacts list (All who have not already done so)

JAS presented a paper outlining an approach to collecting equality data on staff in the Justice sector, and asked members if they agreed with this approach.  It was requested that it be made clearer that this approach was an ambition and that not all organisations are expected to be at that stage now.

JAS shared a paper summarising key points from the EHRC presentation at the previous meeting.


  • Provide any written feedback on either of the papers
  • Indicate if they agree with the approach outlined in the “collecting staff equality data” paper (All)
  • Finalise the “collecting staff equality data” paper following any feedback and ask Justice Board to agree the approach (JAS)


Next meeting

Date of next meeting – to be arranged for September 2023

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