Policing, Justice and Law
The politicisation of the Police must stop as it undermines confidence in the impartiality of the Police, can lead to the Police acting unjustly, and can expose the Police to unnecessary criticism and even ridicule. The Police should be pursuing criminals instead of pedalling politically correct slogans and attempting to ensure people are being kind on Twitter.
We would re-establish more regional autonomy for Police services, with power of appointment of leaders in the hands of local authorities and not Holyrood.
Sentencing should be driven by justice, not artificial targets for prison numbers. While there is utility in some discretion to shorten sentences where behaviour has been good, the current systematic slashing of prison terms has made a mockery of custodial sentences.
Sentences should be just. Criminals deserve punishment, so their rehabilitation is not the only consideration. There ought to be a punitive and deterrent element in sentencing.
Restorative justice approaches can be valuable, but victims of crime must never feel obliged or pressurised to interact with perpetrators as part of restorative justice programmes.
Men and women should be equal before the law. The Scottish Government’s policy of special treatment for female offenders must end.
There should be no presumption or implication that accusers will be always be believed. Corroborated evidence should always guide assessment of guilt.
Prisons should induct inmates into an austere and formal environment from which they can, in the case of excellent behaviour, quickly progress to a more amenable regime of purposeful and transformative activity. Prisons must be free of illegal drugs.
Following a failure to convict in a criminal court, it should not be possible for the same incident to then be pursued in a civil court. No one should have their reputation impugned by being found responsible for a serious crime in a civil court, where the standard of proof is much lower.
Steps should be taken to protect the identity of the accused where possible, especially where the accuser has been granted anonymity, until charges are brought, at the earliest.
All legislation should be free of imprecise, ambiguous or easily misinterpreted wording. The crime must be clearly defined. Vague laws undermine our freedom.
There are invaluable principles embodied in Human Rights declarations. However, they can be open to spurious and unforeseen interpretations. Rights intended to enshrine protected choices can be interpreted as entitlements. Rights also often give scope for judicial activism, thus undermining democracy. We would be alert to these problems and seek to address them.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is commonly used as a pretext for wider ideological campaigning, often undermining the authority of parents. Signing up to this convention will hand power to the UN undemocratically, as they interpret the text as they wish in the future and impose demands on the Scottish Government. We oppose the incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law.
We oppose the proposed Gender Recognition Act. Officially changing sex/gender should not be possible merely at the request of an individual.
Even the current system of recognising gender change undermines the right of women to same sex spaces, makes a mockery of women’s sport, and communicates a harmful understanding of sex and gender.
So, we propose that here should be no provision to change gender legally.
The only exception to this should be for intersex people, though we would allow those who have already changed gender to remain in their new legal gender.