Scottish Budget 2024 to 2025: equality and fairer Scotland statement

Assesses where the Scottish Government is proposing to spend public money and how it aims to reduce inequality. It is a supporting document to the Scottish Budget and should be read alongside associated Budget publications.

Justice and Home Affairs

Budget Purpose

Keep our communities safe and secure, and administer justice in its various forms: civil, criminal and administrative.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Communities
  • Human Rights

Key human rights:

  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Right to freedom from punishment without law

Summary of how our budget impacts on equality and Fairer Scotland

The portfolio is committed to advancing equality and addressing the causes of inequality, including tackling all forms of gender inequality and tackling and preventing violence against women and girls. It helps to create an inclusive and respectful society in which all people and communities live in safety and security.

Through our funding of justice partners, we are investing in a range of system-wide measures to prevent and reduce crime and re-offending and ensure an effective system of civil law, as well as supporting victims and witnesses of crime. Over 80 per cent of the portfolio’s budget is allocated to justice partners, who are required under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, and under both the PSED and the Fairer Scotland Duty to advance equality of opportunity when taking strategic decisions.

Evidence suggests that women are less likely to feel safe and are disproportionately affected by both sexual crimes and domestic abuse. We are tackling and preventing violence against women and girls by specifically targeting domestic abuse and sexual violence handling in the justice system.

In addition, disabled people are more likely to be a victim of crime and experience discrimination and harassment. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender adults and minority ethnic people are also more likely to experience discrimination. Our funding for justice partners will help protect vulnerable people, addressing discrimination and hate crime and bringing those responsible for it to justice.

There is a strong relationship between deprivation and crime. People living in the most deprived areas are more likely to experience crime and are also over-represented in prison arrivals. Young offenders also disproportionally come from deprived areas. The portfolio’s substantive priorities include improving the experience of justice for victims and survivors, reducing reoffending and limiting the negative effects of short-term imprisonment, and prioritising our public services and delivering public service reform.



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