Homicide report by Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland: review and consultation

We are seeking views on the review of homicides by people in recent contact with NHSScotland mental health and learning disability services.


1. During the Parliamentary passage of the Bill for the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, concerns were expressed about the existing system of investigation of those homicides committed by people who had recent contact with mental health and learning disability services. The Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health agreed that the system was in need of improvement and advised the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee that the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland ("the Commission") and Healthcare Improvement Scotland were discussing how best to streamline the current system for reviewing these homicides.

2. Subsequently, the Commission developed more detailed proposals, in consultation with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, and following discussions with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The report on these proposals is provided at Annex A and includes a review of the current process for investigating such homicides as well as a proposal for a revised process.

3. The term 'homicide' is used in this consultation to refer to the crimes of murder and culpable homicide, in Scots law.

4. The purpose of this consultation paper is to present the Commission's report and to seek views on the process proposed in the report. Following consideration of responses to this consultation the Scottish Government will work with the Commission to establish what changes might need to be made to the process at Annex A and how any improved system of homicide reviews will be put in place.


Email: Dan Curran, mentalhealthlaw@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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