Information

Clarification of claims made in judicial review of definition of 'woman': FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.


Information requested

During the remedy hearing in the case of For Women Scotland Ltd against the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Ministers which took place on 22 March 2022, counsel for the Scottish Government made a number of claims:

  • Since the commencement of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018, there have been 340 appointments to public boards, twelve of which have been subject to a tie break.
  • It is not possible know of those twelve "whether they were biological women, whether they were women who had acquired the female gender or whether they were women 'living as women' as defined under section 2 [of the 2018 Act].
  • It is not possible to know this because "not everybody who puts themselves forward for public appointments chooses to answer the sex or gender question.

On what basis, therefore, does the Scottish Government claim that twelve appointments were subject to a tie break, when it cannot say whether the individuals involved adhered to the definitions contained in section 212 of the Equality Act 2010?

Response

In answer to your question, prior to the remedy hearing in the case of For Women Scotland Ltd against the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Ministers which took place on 22 March 2022, the Scottish Government requested information from listed public authorities on the total number of relevant board appointments made under the 2018 Act since it was commenced on 29 May 2020. And of those appointments, how many involved a tie-break between two or more candidates. The information received from those bodies which replied was that there were 12 appointments in total that involved a tie-break between two or more candidates.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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