The Justice Committee sought to scrutinise the actions of the Scottish Government, and the wider civil, criminal justice and prosecution system in Scotland in responding to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 public health emergency. Any documents or correspondence relevant to this scrutiny were published here.
(Page created: 26 March 2020. Last Updated: 17 March 2021)
Scottish Government proposals for solemn cases during the Covid-19 emergency
The Scottish Government consulted on options for solemn cases during the Covid-19 public health emergency. As part of this, the Committee received submissions from various bodies (see below). Any relevant material on this issue was posted to this page.
Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020
These regulations were laid on Friday 27 March and as a made affirmative came into force on that day. The regulations will be reviewed every 21 days for a maximum of 6 months
The regulations enable a number of emergency public health measures to be taken to reduce the public health risks posed by the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Scotland which causes the disease Covid-19.
This includes the creation of offences for failure to comply with the restrictions imposed by the regulations.
The Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020
This negative instrument was laid on Tuesday 7 April 2020 and came into force on the same day.
The regulations amend the Prison Rules to support the Scottish Prison Service's response to the current Coronavirus outbreak. The amendments generally provide prison Governors with flexibility in relation to compliance with timescales and the provision of those services, which although important, are not critical to the security and health of staff and prisoners.
As the regulations came into force on the day they were laid, this is in breach of the normal 28-day rule. The letter below from the Scottish Prison Service to the Presiding Officer states that it has not been possible to comply with the 28-day rule due to the need to implement the changes quickly to properly equip prison Governors and the prison service.
Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (Release of Prisoners) Regulations 2020 and Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (Incidental Provisions) Regulations 2020