Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill


Stage 1 Scrutiny by the Justice Committee

The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on 8 October 2015. 

According to the Scottish Government’s Policy Memorandum accompanying the Bill, the Bill “will help improve how the justice system responds to abusive behaviour including domestic abuse and sexual harm”. The Bill— 

  • Provides a new specific “domestic abuse” aggravator that an offence was aggravated by involving abuse of a person’s partner or ex-partner;
  • Provides a new offence for the non-consensual sharing of private and intimate images (sometimes called “revenge porn”);
  • Requires juries in sexual offence cases to be given specific directions about how to consider the evidence;
  • Widens the circumstances where a court may issue a non-harassment order to include certain cases where a conviction did not take place;
  • Reforms the system of civil orders available to protect communities from those who may commit sex offences;
  • Seeks to ensure that child sexual offences committed by Scottish residents elsewhere in the UK may be prosecuted in the Scottish courts.


Written evidence

The Committee issued a call for written evidence on Tuesday 13 October 2015. The closing date for submissions was Tuesday 17 November 2015.


The Committee published its Stage 1 report to the Parliament on 21 January 2016.


    Consideration of the Bill at Stage 1 concluded with the debate in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 28 January 2016.

    Additional Information


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