Guidance for Local Partners in the New Model for Community Justice

Guidance to support the statutory community justice partners to understand their roles arising from the Community Justice (Scotland) Act 2016.

10. Relationship with Community Justice Scotland

10.1 A new body, Community Justice Scotland, will be established for limited purposes in October 2016 and will be fully operational by 1 April 2017. It will work closely with statutory community justice partners, the third sector and a range of other parties to provide support and leadership for community justice. The body will bring enhanced opportunities for innovation through the establishment of a Hub for the promotion of Learning and Development. It will also provide assurance to Scottish Ministers and Local Government Leaders on the delivery of improved outcomes for community justice and provide improvement support as required.

10.2 It is for the statutory partners locally to identify the local needs and priorities to be addressed in the local plan. Any best practice initiatives developed by local partners may be shared via Community Justice Scotland's proposed Hub for Innovation Learning and Development.

10.3 Community Justice Scotland is required to publish an annual report on performance in relation to National Community Justice Outcomes. As part of this Community Justice Scotland may make improvement recommendations to the statutory partners at any time. The statutory partners will be required to take account of these when they review their own performance against their plan and report on progress achieved or where progress is still to be achieved.

Scottish and Local Government Political Oversight Group for Community Justice

10.4 Given the particular democratic mandate of local government, the Minister has agreed with COSLA to establish a mechanism to involve Elected Members in the assurance process that will form part of Community Justice Scotland's functions. The details of such an arrangement are yet to be established but this is likely to be an annual meeting to share best practice and consider areas for improvement.

I recognise, and am happy to put on record, the key delivery role of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and individual local authorities throughout Scotland in the delivery of community justice.

- Paul Wheelhouse (Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs), as quoted in the Official Report of the Meeting of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee 26 January 2016

Role and responsibility of Scottish Government

10.5 Scottish Ministers have ownership of the development of the National Strategy for Community Justice and the OPI Framework. Both will be developed and reviewed in consultation with statutory partners, the third sector bodies involved in community justice and others as appropriate.

10.6 The National Strategy for Community Justice will be subject to a review within five years of its publication, following which either a revised strategy will be published or a statement will be published stating that the strategy should not be revised.

10.7 The OPI Framework will be reviewed by Community Justice Scotland within five years of its publication and will submit proposals to Scottish Government as to whether a revised framework is required. The review will be consulted upon with statutory partners, third sector bodies involved in community justice and others as appropriate.

Commissioning services

10.8 Commissioning has been defined by the Scottish Government (in its December 2014 consultation response) as: "supporting the shared assessment of and forecast of needs, linking investment to outcomes, considering options and supporting partners to plan the nature, range and quality of future services in support of community justice outcomes. Contracting and procurement procedures will support the commissioning process and will rest with the appropriate local or national body or bodies."

10.9 Community Justice Scotland, the new national body and statutory partners locally will agree and establish a strategic and coordinated approach to commissioning for community justice services, in consultation with statutory partners. Primary responsibility for commissioning community justice services at a local level will however rest with local community justice partners operating on a local authority areas basis according to local needs, priorities and resources.

10.10 Community Justice Scotland is not an inspection body but can direct other scrutiny bodies in relation to the statutory partners' community justice duties as appropriate.


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