Stage 1 Scrutiny by the Justice Committee
The Apologies (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament by Margaret Mitchell MSP on 3 March 2015.
The Policy Memorandum states the Bill “provides that an apology (as defined in terms of the Bill) is inadmissible in certain civil proceedings as evidence of anything relevant to the determination of liability, and cannot otherwise be used to the prejudice of the person making the apology (or on whose behalf it is made). The Bill also has the broader purpose of encouraging a cultural and social change in attitudes towards apologising”. The provisions in the Bill are to apply to all forms of apology and to all civil proceedings, with the exception of fatal accident inquiries and defamation proceedings. The Policy Memorandum also confirms that the legislation should not impede any further course of action being taken where an apology has been given.
The call for written evidence on the Bill closed on 8 May 2015.
The Committee took oral evidence on the Bill at its meetings on 9, 16 and 23 June 2015.
Work By Other Committees
The Committee published its Stage 1 report to the Parliament on 11 September 2015.
Consideration of the Bill at Stage 1 concluded with the debate in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 27 October 2015.
The member in charge, Margaret Mitchell MSP, wrote to the Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs on 22 October setting out her current position on the Bill in advance of the Stage 1 debate. This letter was copied to the Committee for information and is below:
The Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA) wrote to the Committee on 4 December 2015 setting out its position on the Apologies (Scotland) Bill and its application to the children’s hearings system.