Human rights in the UK: Universal Periodic Review, 2017 – Scottish Government position

Scottish Government position statement on Scotland’s performance against key international human rights obligations.

4. Protecting human rights and countering terrorism


The Scottish Government takes a full and active role in the delivery of the UK's Counter-Terrorism Strategy ( CONTEST) and works with Scotland's law enforcement and other bodies to ensure they have all the tools they need to effectively tackle terrorism. The Scottish Government works with the UK Government to ensure that any new proposals fit with what is a separate and distinct Scottish legal system, respects the current devolution arrangements and are taken in the context of proper engagement and consultation with the public bodies who would be affected by these proposals in Scotland. The Scottish Government also works closely with affected communities across Scotland to offer assurances and commitment to their security, and Police Scotland is also in contact with community representatives.


Prevent is part of the UK Government CONTEST strategy, however the way that Prevent is delivered in Scotland is through devolved functions. It reflects Scottish differences and is specific to the challenges faced by Scottish communities. The strategy has been intentionally aligned to existing safeguarding procedures to ensure the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Doing so is consistent with the Christie Commission findings, [36] which encourage a shift to public sector investment towards early intervention and prevention programmes.

The strategy is part of Scotland's wider work to promote a community-led approach to building stronger communities. Partners continue to engage and work alongside communities to address existing and emerging challenges across the broad spectrum of threat, including the threat posed by Northern Ireland related terrorism, Al-Qaeda inspired violent extremism or the threat posed by the extreme right wing in Scotland. Delivering Prevent in this manner, ensures no one section of the community is singled out or stigmatised.

Stop and search

There is no evidence to indicate that stop and search is used disproportionately in relation to ethnic minorities in Scotland. Police Scotland has eliminated the non-statutory stopping and searching of children under 12. The Stop and Search Code of Practice, [37] laid before Parliament on 11 January 2017, sets out the circumstances in which a search may be carried out, the procedures to be followed, the record to be kept and the right of someone to receive a copy of that record.

The Scottish Parliament has legislated to ensure that Police Scotland must publish information about how many searches are carried out, how many persons are searched on two or more occasions, the age and gender, and the ethnic and national origins of the person searched. [38] The Scottish Government will monitor this information and keep it under review. [39] Subject to parliamentary approval, the Code of Practice will come into effect on 11 May 2017, after which non-statutory stop and search will be unlawful.


Email: David Holmes

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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