Gender Representation on Public Boards (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill : Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment
1. Brief Summary
The purpose of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill ("the Bill") is to amend the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 ("the 2018 Act") to remove the definition of "woman" in section 2, following decisions of the Court of Session of 18 February and 22 March 2022 (and which had effect from 19 April 2022) in the judicial review and reclaiming motion brought by For Women Scotland.
The definition in section 2 which is to be removed is: ""woman" includes a person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment (within the meaning of section 7 of the Equality Act 2010) if, and only if, the person is living as a woman and is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of becoming female."
The Court of Session found and declared that the definition was outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament in that it relates to reserved matters and was accordingly not law, and granted a decree of reduction of the definition. The Court's decision of 22 March 2022, which was effective from 19 April 2022, provided that there would be no retrospective effect, so there was no impact on any existing appointments already made under the 2018 Act.
The Bill has a single, narrow purpose and is technical in nature; it is not a strategic decision. It simply removes the redundant definition of 'woman' from the face of the statute book, to reflect the Court's decisions and ensure persons are not misled. The Bill makes no changes to the legal position; any legal changes to the 2018 Act were as a result of the Court's decisions in February and March 2022.
A full CRWIA is not required due to the narrow scope and limited effect of the Bill.
2. Which aspects of the relevant proposal currently affects or will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?
There are no aspects of this proposal that affect children and young people up to the age of 18. Removing the redundant definition of "woman" in the 2018 Act from the statute book will ensure that users of that legislation are not misled. However the 2018 Act relates to the representation of women on the boards of Scottish public authorities, and those applying for positions on public boards would be over the age of 18. Therefore the already limited effect of this Bill will not extend to children and young people up to the age of 18.
3. Which groups of children and young people are currently or will be affected by the relevant proposal?
No groups of children and young people will be affected by the successful implementation of this proposal.
4. Is a Stage 2 Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment required?
A Stage 2 Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment is not required because the Bill does not affect children and young people under the age of 18 years.
CRWIA not required.
6. Sign & Date
Policy Lead Signature & Date of Sign Off: Gender Equality Policy team, 20 October 2023
Deputy Director Signature & Date of Sign Off: Catherine McMeeken, 23 October 2023
Date SGLD contacted: SGLD, 28 September 2023
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