Review of Marches and Parades In Scotland: Guidance for Scottish Local Authorities

Guidance for Scottish local authorities on marches and parades in Scotland.

Guidance on marches and parades - Ministerial foreword

photo of Cathy Jamieson Minister for JusticeThe right to march is a powerful visible sign of a robust democracy. But with those rights come responsibilities. That is a balance that must be struck, particularly as many believe that balance was lost in recent years. Sir John Orr's 'Review of Marches and Parades in Scotland' highlighted ways to modernise decision-making around marches to make the system and the processes within it much fairer and more transparent.

We acted on Sir John's advice and are now putting in place an enhanced structure where marches and parades can be properly notified, planned for and discussed in advance. Our reforms pose no threat to culture, tradition and free speech. But they do provide local authorities and local people with the tools they need to strike the right balance.

The challenge now for elected members, chief executives and council staff is to make sure that their local authority is ready to cope with the changes and implement the good practice highlighted in this guidance. It is vitally important that all local authorities continue to work with the police and the communities they serve. They need to build on their good relationships with the organisers who want to hold processions in their areas and create a stronger bond with communities so they are better informed of the decisions being taken. Sharing information with local people is vital as it ensures that everyone is prepared for the events that may be taking place.

My Ministerial colleagues and I are particularly grateful to the Scottish Executive's Working Group on Marches and Parades for producing this guidance. I would also like to thank Sir John Orr for his thorough report, and to the key marching organisations for the positive attitude they have taken over the period of the review and beyond.

Scotland is becoming a fairer, more tolerant, safer place to live and work. Our task, in law and in practice, is to make sure that marches and parades contribute to that.

image of Cathy Jamieson Minister for Justice signature

Cathy Jamieson
Minister for Justice

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