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SCOTTISH COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 2006

Acts of the Scottish Parliament

Version 01/01/2016

2006 asp 16

Default Geographical Extent: S


  • Scottish Commission for Human Rights
  • General functions
  • Strategic plans
  • Inquiries
  • Intervention in civil proceedings
  • Reports
  • General
  • Version 01/01/2016
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  • Version 08/11/2007
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  • Version 08/12/2006

Introductory Text

Scottish Commission for Human Rights Act 2006

2006 asp 16

The Bill for this Act of the Scottish Parliament was passed by the Parliament on 2nd November 2006 and received Royal Assent on 8th December 2006

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to provide for the establishment and functions of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights.

Scottish Commission for Human Rights


1 Scottish Commission for Human Rights

(1) There is established a body corporate to be known as the Scottish Commission for Human Rights (and referred to in this Act as the “Commission”).

(2) Schedule 1 makes further provision about the Commission.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I1 S. 1 wholly in force at 1.4.2008; s. 1 not in force at Royal Assent see s. 22(3)(4); s. 1 partly in force for certain purposes at 8.11.2007 by S.S.I. 2007/448, art. 2(a); s. 1 in force, in so far as not already in force, at 1.4.2008 by S.I. 2008/112, art. 2


General functions


2 General duty to promote human rights

(1) The Commission's general duty is, through the exercise of its functions under this Act, to promote human rights and, in particular, to encourage best practice in relation to human rights.

(2) In this Act, “human rights” means—

(a) the Convention rights within the meaning of section 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) , and
(b) other human rights contained in any international convention, treaty or other international instrument ratified by the United Kingdom.
(3) In this section, “promote”, in relation to human rights, means promote awareness and understanding of, and respect for, those rights.

(4) In deciding what action to take under this Act in pursuance of its general duty, the Commission must have regard, in particular, to the importance of exercising its functions under this Act in relation to—

(a) the Convention rights, and
(b) human rights of those groups in society whose human rights are not, in the Commission's opinion, otherwise being sufficiently promoted.

3 Information, guidance, education etc.

(1) For the purposes of its general duty, the Commission may—

(a) publish or otherwise disseminate information or ideas,
(b) provide advice or guidance,
(c) conduct research,
(d) provide education or training.
(2) The Commission may charge reasonable fees in connection with anything done by it or on its behalf under subsection (1).

(3) Sums paid to the Commission in respect of fees charged under subsection (2) are to be retained by it and applied to meet expenses incurred by it in doing anything under subsection (1).

4 Monitoring of law, policies and practices

(1) For the purposes of its general duty, the Commission may review and recommend changes to—

(a) any area of the law of Scotland, or
(b) any policies or practices of any Scottish public authorities.
(2) The Commission must consult the Scottish Law Commission before undertaking a review of any area of the law under subsection (1) (a).

5 Power to co-operate etc. with others

(1) The Commission may, in the exercise of any of its functions—

(a) consult,
(b) act jointly with,
(c) co-operate with, or
(d) assist,
any other person.
(2) The Commission must seek to ensure, so far as practicable, that any activity undertaken by it under this Act does not duplicate unnecessarily any activity undertaken by any other person under any other enactment.

6 No power to assist in claims or legal proceedings

(1) The Commission may not provide assistance to or in respect of any person in connection with any claim or legal proceedings to which that person is or may become a party.

(2) In subsection (1) , “assistance” includes advice, guidance and grants.

[F1 6A Subsequent appointments

(1) A person who has ceased to be a member of the Commission may not, without the approval of the Parliamentary corporation—

(a) be employed or appointed in any other capacity by the Commission,
(b) hold office in or be an employee or appointee of any Scottish public authority in relation to which the Commission conducted an inquiry under section 8(1) (a) while that person was a member of the Commission, or
(c) hold any other office, employment or appointment or engage in any other occupation, being an office, employment, appointment or occupation which, by virtue of paragraph 5(9) (a) , that person could not have held or, as the case may be, engaged in when a member of the Commission.
(2) The restriction in sub-paragraph (1) —

(a) starts when the person ceases to be a member of the Commission, and
(b) ends on the expiry of the financial year next following the one in which it started.]
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Sch. 1 para. 6A inserted (1.4.2011) by Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Act 2010 (asp 11), s. 31(5), sch. 6 para. 6 (with s. 31(6), Sch. 7)


Strategic plans


7 Strategic plans

(1) The Commission must, before the beginning of each 4 year period, lay before the Parliament a plan (referred to in this section as a “strategic plan”) setting out information as to how the Commission proposes to fulfil its general duty during that period.

(2) The plan must, in particular, set out—

(a) the Commission's objectives and priorities for the period to which the plan relates,
(b) a statement of any areas of the law which it proposes to review under section 4(1) (a) during that period,
(c) details of the other activities or kinds of activities which it proposes to undertake during that period, F2 ...
(d) a timetable for each review and other activity or kind of activity referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) and
[F3 (e) estimates of the costs of achieving those objectives and priorities and undertaking those reviews and activities.]
(3) Before laying a strategic plan before the Parliament, the Commission must provide a draft of it to, and invite comments on it from—

(a) the Parliamentary corporation, and
(b) such other persons as the Commission considers appropriate.
(4) The Commission must arrange for the publication of each strategic plan laid before the Parliament.

(5) The Commission may, at any time during a 4 year period, review the strategic plan for the period and lay a revised plan for the period before the Parliament.

(6) Subsections (3) to (5) apply to a revised plan as they apply to a strategic plan.

[F4 (6A) In that application, the reference in subsection (5) to the 4 year period is a reference to the period to which the revised strategic plan relates.]

(7) In this section, “4 year period” means—

(a) the period of 4 years beginning with the day on which section 2 comes into force, and
(b) each subsequent period of 4 years.
Annotations:

Subordinate Legislation Made

P1 S. 7 power fully exercised: 8.11.2007 appointed by {S.S.I. 2007/448}, art. 2

Amendments (Textual)

F2 Word in s. 7(2) repealed (1.4.2011) by Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Act 2010 (asp 11), s. 31(5), Sch. 6 para. 1(a)(i) (with s. 31(6), Sch. 7)

F3 S. 7(2)(e) inserted (1.4.2011) by Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Act 2010 (asp 11), s. 31(5), Sch. 6 para. 1(a)(ii) (with s. 31(6), Sch. 7)

F4 S. 7(6A) inserted (1.4.2011) by Scottish Parliamentary Commissions and Commissioners etc. Act 2010 (asp 11), s. 31(5), Sch. 6 para. 1(b) (with s. 31(6), Sch. 7)


Inquiries


8 Power to conduct inquiries

(1) The Commission may, in relation to any matter relevant to its general duty, conduct an inquiry into the policies or practices of—

(a) a particular Scottish public authority,
(b) Scottish public authorities generally, or
(c) Scottish public authorities of a particular description,
in connection with the matter.
(2) Subsection (1) is subject to section 9.

(3) The matter in relation to which an inquiry is conducted is referred to in this Act as the “subject matter” of the inquiry.

(4) Before taking any step in the conduct of an inquiry, the Commission must—

(a) draw up—
(i) terms of reference for the proposed inquiry, and
(ii) a summary of the procedure to be followed in the conduct of the inquiry,
(b) give notice of—
(i) the proposed inquiry,
(ii) its terms of reference, and
(iii) the summary of procedure,
to each relevant Scottish public authority, and
(c) publicise—
(i) the proposed inquiry,
(ii) its terms of reference, and
(iii) the summary of procedure,
in such manner as it considers appropriate to bring them to the attention of any other persons likely to be affected by the inquiry.
(5) An inquiry is to be conducted in public except to the extent that the Commission considers it necessary or expedient that any part of the inquiry should be conducted in private.

(6) Otherwise, the procedure to be followed in the conduct of an inquiry is to be such as the Commission may determine.

(7) In subsection (4) (b) , “relevant Scottish public authority” means, in relation to a proposed inquiry, any Scottish public authority—

(a) which the Commission considers is likely to be required under section 10(1) to give evidence, produce documents or provide information for the purposes of the inquiry, or
(b) any of whose members, officers or staff the Commission considers is likely to be so required.

9 Restrictions as to scope of inquiry

(1) The Commission may not, in the course of an inquiry (including the report of the inquiry) , question the findings of any court or tribunal.

(2) The Commission may conduct an inquiry into the policies and practices of a particular Scottish public authority only if—

(a) the authority is the only Scottish public authority with functions in relation to the subject matter of the inquiry, or
(b) the subject matter of the inquiry is about whether the human rights specified in subsection (6) are being respected by the authority.
(3) The Commission may not conduct an inquiry into the policies and practices of any Scottish public authority in relation to a particular case.

(4) However, subsection (3) does not prevent the Commission taking such policies and practices into account in the course of an inquiry.

(5) The Commission may conduct an inquiry in relation to the management or operation of a particular institution only if—

(a) the institution is the only one of its kind in Scotland, or
(b) the subject matter of the inquiry is about whether the human rights specified in subsection (6) are being respected at the institution.
(6) The human rights referred to in subsections (2) (b) and (5) (b) are those contained in the following, so far as ratified by the United Kingdom, namely—

(a) the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment adopted by Resolution 39/46 (10th December 1984) of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
(b) the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, done at Strasbourg on 26th November 1987,
(c) any protocol to those Conventions, and
(d) such other international conventions, treaties or other international instruments as Her Majesty may by Order in Council specify for the purposes of this section.
(7) No recommendation to make an Order in Council under subsection (6) (d) is to be made to Her Majesty in Council unless a draft of the Order has been laid before and approved by resolution of the Parliament.

(8) In this section, “institution” means a prison, hospital, school, college, care home or other such establishment.