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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Vol. 1, No. 57   Session 1

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 2 March 2000

 

  

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

 

1. European Convention on Human Rights: David McLetchie moved S1M-610—That the Parliament notes with concern the disruption to Scotland’s judicial system resulting from Her Majesty’s Government’s decision to directly incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into Scots Law without having paid due attention to the consequences; further notes that the Convention now impacts directly upon the legislative competence of the Parliament and the powers of the Scottish Executive and from October 2000 will apply to all public authorities in Scotland; calls upon the Scottish Executive to provide, at the earliest opportunity, a full report to the Parliament on the impact of incorporation to date and a statement on the Executive’s state of preparedness for October when the Convention becomes fully operational, and further calls upon the Scottish Executive to provide a full and detailed analysis of the ECHR implications of legislative proposals submitted to the Parliament and to consider establishing a Human Rights Commission or some other body to provide expert advice and guidance on the impact of the ECHR on public authorities in Scotland.

The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice moved amendment S1M-610.1 to motion S1M-610—

Leave out from "with concern" to end and insert—

"that the obligation to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has existed since 1951; appreciates that the Scotland Act 1998 together with the Human Rights Act 1998 will enable Scots to enforce their basic human rights in their own courts; notes that substantial training on the ECHR has been provided for the main justice agencies and that detailed guidance has been sent to public authorities; notes that the Scottish Executive will be considering the possibility of establishing a Scottish Human Rights Commission; and further notes that if it is considered necessary to do so, proposals for legislation will be brought forward in due course."

Roseanna Cunningham moved amendment S1M-610.2 to motion S1M-610—

Delete from "consider" to end and insert—

"establish a Human Rights Commission which would advise both the Parliament and the Executive, issue guidance and promote good practice in public authorities, promote greater access to justice and advise on wider international human rights obligations."

After debate, amendment S1M-610.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 43, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendment S1M-610.2 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 63, Against 14, Abstentions 25).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that the obligation to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has existed since 1951; appreciates that the Scotland Act 1998 together with the Human Rights Act 1998 will enable Scots to enforce their basic human rights in their own courts; notes that substantial training on the ECHR has been provided for the main justice agencies and that detailed guidance has been sent to public authorities; notes that the Scottish Executive will be considering the possibility of establishing a Scottish Human Rights Commission; and further notes that if it is considered necessary to do so, proposals for legislation will be brought forward in due course

 

2. Business Motion: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-611—That the Parliament agrees the following programme of business—

 

Wednesday 8 March 2000

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Non - Executive Business – Scottish National Party

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-557 Patricia Ferguson:

International Women’s Day


Thursday 9 March 2000

9.30 am Executive Debate on "Created in Scotland – The Way Forward for Manufacturing in the 21st Century"

followed by Business Motion

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3.30 pm Ministerial Statement

4.00 pm Stage 1 of the Census Bill

followed by Financial Resolution on the Census Bill

followed by Motion on The Scotland Act 1998 (Cross-Border Public Authorities) (Forestry Commissioners) Order 2000

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-606 Mr Alex Salmond: Peterhead Prison


Wednesday 15 March 2000

2.30 pm Time For Reflection

followed by Stage 2 of the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by Stage 3 of the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

Thursday 16 March 2000

9.30 am Committee Business

followed by Business Motion

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

12.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

to conclude at 3.30pm

 

The motion was agreed to.

 

3. Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

 

4. Gaelic: The Deputy Minister for Highlands and Islands and Gaelic moved S1M-607—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s programme of action in support of the Gaelic language, in particular its support for Gaelic-medium education; recognises the cultural, economic and social contribution of Gaelic to Scotland; supports the Scottish Executive’s participation in the Columba Initiative (Iomairt Chaluim Chille) to strengthen the links between the Gaelic-speaking communities of Scotland and of Ireland, and commends the work of local authorities, schools, colleges, universities and voluntary bodies in making available Gaelic-medium education at all levels from pre-school to tertiary and continuing education and in promoting the Gaelic arts.

Mr Brian Monteith moved amendment S1M-607.2 to motion S1M-607—

Leave out from "in particular" to "to Scotland" and insert—

"building upon the increased investment of the previous Conservative governments but believes it could go much further by supporting grant aided Gaelic medium schools and ultimately allowing Gaelic education boards to run Gaelic schools within the state system; recognises the cultural, economic and social contribution of Gaelic to Scotland"

After debate, amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 17, Against 87, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

 

5. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 4 as noted above.

 

6. Grampian Television: The Parliament debated S1M-474 in the name of Richard Lochhead—That the Parliament recognises the contribution made in the past by Grampian Television to the regional identity of the North East of Scotland and to the social cohesion of the diverse communities it services; notes the threat posed to the station by the Scottish Media Group’s proposals on re-organisation of its regional production department, which involve the shedding of jobs and a cut in pay levels; supports the high standard of regional broadcasting and the dedicated work of broadcasting professionals whose livelihoods are now under threat, and urges the Scottish Executive to state publicly its support for regional broadcasting.

 

The meeting closed at 5.44 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
2 March 2000

 

Appendix

(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

 

Bills iIntroduced

The following Bills were introduced on 1 March 2000—

Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to establish a framework for securing the observance of high standards of conduct by councillors and other persons holding public appointments; and to repeal section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986 and make provision as to how councils are to exercise functions which relate principally to children. (SP Bill 9) (Executive Bill)

Introduced by: Ms Wendy Alexander

Supported by: Mr Sam Galbraith, Mr Jack McConnell, Mr Frank McAveety

 

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 9-EN) and a Policy Memorandum (SP Bill 9-PM) were printed to accompany the Bill.

Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill—A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to protect wild mammals from being hunted with dogs; and for connected purposes. (SP Bill 10) (Member's Bill)

Introduced by: Mike Watson

Supported by: Tricia Marwick

Explanatory Notes (and other accompanying documents) (SP Bill 10-EN) were printed to accompany the Bill.

 

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 2 March 2000—

Health and Community Care Committee, 3rd Report 2000: Report on Stobhill Petition PE 48 (SP Paper 77)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 9th Report, 2000: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 78)

 

  
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