Information

Improving victims' experiences of the justice system: consultation

The consultation seeks views on potential reforms to empower and protect victims of crime, with particular reference to sexual offences. It takes forward the work of the Victims Taskforce and recommendations from Lady Dorrian’s Review which do, or may, require a legislative underpinning.


Chapter Nine: Impact Assessments

As we develop the proposals in this consultation, we will carry out impact assessments. The aim of these assessments is to identify issues that may affect some groups more than others and to consider how we will address these issues. The assessments also explore what impacts the proposals will have on matters such as privacy, business and the environment. In addition, we need to ensure the proposals comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

This chapter seeks views on the potential impacts of proposals in this consultation.

The questions on the potential impacts of the proposals are broken down in line with the formal assessments carried out by the Scottish Government, which are:

  • Compliance with ECHR
  • Equality Impact Assessment
  • Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment
  • Islands Community Impact Assessment
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment
  • Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment

We recognise that some proposals will have much greater impacts than others and that there may be some areas where there are minimal impacts. We also recognise that there will be commonality in terms of the impacts across different proposals.

Given this, when answering the questions below it would be helpful if you could set out the specific proposals to which you are referring when describing any impacts which you think should be considered.

Human Rights

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. It means that public authorities, such as the Scottish Government, must not act in a way which is incompatible with the rights set out in the ECHR. It is therefore vital that we consider how the proposals will impact on human rights.

Question 77: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on human rights?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Equalities

The Public Sector Equality Duty requires the Scottish Government and other public bodies when they are exercising their functions to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it

For the purposes of the Public Sector Equality Duty, a 'relevant protected characteristic' means age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

The Equality Act 2010 sets out nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The Public Sector Equality Duty includes a requirement for the Scottish Government and other public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.

Question 78: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on equalities and the protected characteristics set out above?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Children's rights

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international treaty which sets out the fundamental human rights of all children. Part 1 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to (a) keep under consideration if there are any steps which they could take which would or might secure better or further effect in Scotland of the UNCRC requirements and (b) If they consider is appropriate to do so, take any of the steps identified by that consideration.

All new legislation and policy that is developed by the Scottish Government must consider the impacts on the rights and wellbeing of children up to the age of 18.

Question 79: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on children and young people as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Fairer Scotland Duty

The Fairer Scotland Duty came into force on 1 April 2018 and places a legal responsibility on named public bodies, including the Scottish Government, to actively consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage when making strategic decisions.

This means that as well as considering the impact on people with protected characteristics, the Scottish Government must consider how any proposals will impact on people depending on their economic background. For example, if proposals would have a specific impact on people with low incomes or who live in a deprived area.

Question 80: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on socio-economic equality?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Island communities

Section 7 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 states that a relevant authority – which includes the Scottish Ministers – must have regard to island communities when carrying out its functions.

Scotland's islands face particular challenges around distance, geography, connectivity and demography, so it is important that this is considered when developing the proposals in this consultation. It is also important that we ensure that the islands receive fair and equitable treatment and that policy outcomes are tailored to their unique circumstances.

Question 81: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on communities on the Scottish islands?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Data protection and privacy

Data protection and privacy impact assessments help the Scottish Government to assess the risks of proposed legislative changes that are likely to affect the way in which personal data is used.

Question 82: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on privacy and data protection?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Business

A Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) is used to analyse the cost and benefits to businesses and the third sector of any proposed legislation or regulation, with the goal of using evidence to identify the proposal that best achieves policy objectives while minimising costs and burdens as much as possible.

Question 83: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on businesses and the third sector?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Environment

In Scotland, public bodies including the Scottish Government are required to assess, consult on, and monitor the likely impacts their plans, programmes and strategies will have on the environment. This helps to better protect the environment, aims to ensure that any development is sustainable and increases opportunities for public participation in decision-making.

Question 84: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the chapters of this consultation on the environment?

Yes

No

Unsure

Please provide details, making reference to the specific proposal or proposals to which your comments relate.

Contact

Email: victimsconsultation@gov.scot

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