Publication - Publication

Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: equality impact assessment

Published: 3 Dec 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order
ISBN:
9781839603815

Details of the equality impact assessment (EQIA) carried out in relation to the Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill.

13 page PDF

194.9 kB

13 page PDF

194.9 kB

Contents
Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: equality impact assessment
Equality Impact Assessment Record: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill

13 page PDF

194.9 kB

Equality Impact Assessment Record: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill

Title of legislation

Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill

Minister

Minister for Community Safety

Lead official

Michael Paparakis

Officials involved in the EQIA

Michael Paparakis
Private Law Unit

Directorate: Division: Team

Justice: Civil Law and Legal System; Private Law Unit

Is this new policy or revision to an existing policy?

New

Screening

Policy Aim

The Bill implements, in large part, the recommendations of the Scottish Law Commission ("the Commission") in their Report on Defamation (No. 248), published in December 2017.

The overarching purpose of the Bill is to modernise and simplify the law of defamation. What is already a complex area of law is made more complex because parts are found in cases of some vintage and some others are found in various statutory provisions.

Who will it affect?

The Bill is capable of impacting upon any person or body in Scotland who communicates to a third party. Examples include an individual using social media; newsprint publishers; broadcast media; and internet intermediaries (such as Facebook or Twitter). All forms of communication are currently subject to the law of defamation.

The Bill has no impact on any of the equality groups.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

The desired outcomes would not be achieved if Parliament did not pass the Bill or if it was amended in a way that would not achieve the intended simplicity.

Stage 1: Framing

Results of framing exercise

The Bill is capable of impacting upon any person or body in Scotland who communicates to a third party. The proposals in the Bill apply equally to all affected and does not affect certain groups disproportionately.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

Minimal EQIA required.

Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

Not required.

Stage 3: Assessing the impacts and identifying opportunities to promote equality

Having considered the data and evidence you have gathered, this section requires you to consider the potential impacts - negative and positive - that your policy might have on each of the protected characteristics. It is important to remember the duty is also a positive one - that we must explore whether the policy offers the opportunity to promote equality and/or foster good relations.

Do you think that the policy impacts on people because of their age?

Age

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation

X

The Bill is capable of impacting upon any person or body in Scotland who communicates to a third party. The proposals in the Bill apply equally to all affected and does not affect certain groups disproportionately.

Where there are age limits in the law, for example the age at which a person can raise a civil action, this Bill does not change that position.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations among and between different age groups

X

Do you think that the policy impacts disabled people?

Disability

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations among and between disabled and non-disabled people

X

Do you think that the policy impacts on men and women in different ways?

Sex

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations between men and women

X

Do you think that the policy impacts on women because of pregnancy and maternity?

Pregnancy and Maternity

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations

X

Do you think your policy impacts on transsexual people?

Gender reassignment

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations

X

Do you think that the policy impacts on people because of their sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations

X

Do you think the policy impacts on people on the grounds of their race?

Race

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good race relations

X

Do you think the policy impacts on people because of their religion or belief?

Religion or belief

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above.

Advancing equality of opportunity

X

Promoting good relations

X

Do you think the policy impacts on people because of their marriage or civil partnership?

Marriage and Civil Partnership

Positive

Negative

None

Reasons for your decision

Eliminating unlawful discrimination

X

As above,

Stage 4: Decision making and monitoring

Identifying and establishing any required mitigating action

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

No.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010?

No.

If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?

N/A.

If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?

N/A.

Describing how Equality Impact analysis has shaped the policy making process

  • The EQIA has confirmed that the Bill does not impact on equality groups.
  • Given that no positive or negative impacts have been identified, no direct changes have been made to this policy as a result of this EQIA.
  • There are no direct implications for finance as a result of this EQIA.

Monitoring and Review

In recognition that the EQIA is an iterative process, the Scottish Government will continue to ensure that full account of equality issues is taken into consideration as the legislation progresses and through the implementation stage.

Stage 5 - Authorisation of EQIA

Please confirm that:

This Equality Impact Assessment has informed the development of this policy:

Yes X
No

Opportunities to promote equality in respect of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation have been considered, i.e.:

  • Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation;
  • Removing or minimising any barriers and/or disadvantages;
  • Taking steps which assist with promoting equality and meeting people's different needs;
  • Encouraging participation (e.g. in public life)
  • Fostering good relations, tackling prejudice and promoting understanding.

Yes X
No

If the Marriage and Civil Partnership protected characteristic applies to this policy, the Equality Impact Assessment has also assessed against the duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation in respect of this protected characteristic:

Yes
No
Not applicable X

Declaration

I am satisfied with the equality impact assessment that has been undertaken for Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill and give my authorisation for the results of this assessment to be published on the Scottish Government's website.

Name: Gavin Henderson

Position: Deputy Director

Authorisation date: 20 November 2019


Contact

Email: michael.paparakis@gov.scot