Short Life Working Group on Facilitating Peaceful Assemblies: report

The Short Life Working Group on Peaceful Processions in Scotland has reviewed processions in Scotland. The report uses the comparison between Northern Ireland and Scotland as a basis to discuss how well the legislative framework and related processes are working in Scotland.

3. Publication of details

3.1 Sections 63(9) and 63(10) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 provide that the local authority shall compile, maintain and make available to the public, free of charge, a list containing information about: (a) processions which have, after the coming into force of this subsection, been held in their area; (b) proposed processions which they have, after that time, prohibited under this section. A local authority shall make sufficient arrangements to secure that any person, body or other grouping resident in or otherwise present in their area who makes a request for the purposes of this subsection is enabled to receive information about processions which are to or might be held in that area or in any part of it specified in the request.

3.2 The NI Parades Commission posts information about upcoming parades on its website and stressed to us the important difference between making such information as accessible as possible (which it sought to do) and actively soliciting concerns from potentially interested parties (which it did not do).

3.3 We have not been able to review the effectiveness of all the mechanisms that Local Authorities use to publish notifications for a procession (including, for example, the opt-in lists of interested parties), but we would underline the importance of relevant information being made available to the public in an accessible way. Michael Rosie described the 'very mixed quality of accessible information available online' and noted that this had been raised in the Orr Report.[28] In 2020, he further reported 'mixed progress' in this regard.[29]



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