The Vision for Justice in Scotland

We set out our transformative vision of the future justice system for Scotland, spanning the full journey of criminal, civil and administrative justice, with a focus on creating safer communities and shifting societal attitudes and circumstances which perpetuate crime and harm.

The Route to a Transformed Justice System

We must take immediate action to ensure we are delivering a just, safe and resilient Scotland. By taking action now and over the coming years we will ensure that we all live in safer more tolerant and inclusive communities free from inequality and hate. However, some actions may take longer as we look to redesign historic processes and systems whilst also shifting societal and cultural attitudes to better reflect our needs in a modern society.

As a government we are already committed to a number of transformative actions which will help us achieve the outcomes set out below. There will however be more to do and not all actions will be the responsibility of the justice sector alone. As a government we are committed to working across boundaries to improve outcomes for individuals, address causes of crime and reduce offending.

A Year One delivery plan with existing commitments from our justice agencies is provided in Annex B.


  • Establish Women in Justice Panel
  • Consultation on the reform of legal services regulation
  • Hate Crime Strategy
  • Equally safe two-year delivery plan
  • A new National Community Justice Strategy
  • Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-26
  • Work with partners in the public and third sectors to #KeepThePromise
  • Governance Group implementation of non-legislative recommendations of the Dorrian Review
  • Consultation on legislative implications arising from Dorrian Review such as anonymity of complainers and ILR for sexual crimes
  • Introduce legislation to reform the law governing bail and release from prison custody
  • Restorative justice services available across Scotland by 2023
  • Expand the Caledonian System
  • Deliver a new model for female custody


  • New health and wellbeing strategy for prisons
  • Establish a collaborative function to combat threat of cyber attacks
  • Appoint a Victims’ Commissioner
  • Invest in a substantial expansion of community justice services supporting diversion from prosecution, alternatives to remand and community sentencing
  • Expand availability of mediation and arbitration services within the civil justice system
  • A new trauma framework, to give staff the knowledge and skills they need to embed trauma-informed practices
  • Legal Aid Reform
  • Review how offending is dealt with by the summary justice process
  • All children in Scotland who have been victims or witnesses of abuse or violence have access to a “Bairns’ Hoose" by 2025
  • Continue to modernise the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Continue to modernise Scotland’s prison estate by replacing HMP Barlinnie and HMP Inverness
  • Deliver Policing 2026 strategy
  • End of Parliamentary Term 2026



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