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Scotland to Get Trespass Law to Protect Royal Family 2005-01-25

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Scotland.

Measures aimed at helping police in England & Wales tackle intruders on Crown land are likely to lead to a new offence of ‘Trespass’ being introduced in Scotland.

But the move has sparked a fierce political war of words; ‘The Scottish National Party’ and ‘The Association of Chief Police Officers’ said ‘Scots’ Law’ was already sufficient to deal with intruders on designated sites. However, some Ministers said it was necessary to coincide with legislation closing a loophole in England & Wales. The move would ensure that national security was defended, they added.

Sewel Motion:

‘The Scottish Executive’ wants ‘The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill’ (now going through ‘Westminster’) to be subject to what-is-known-as a ‘Sewel Motion’.

This is a parliamentary a device whereby ‘Westminster’ can legislate on Scotland’s behalf and ‘The Scottish Executive’ can then tag this onto its own legislation.

However, opposition parties are already angry at what they see as too many ‘Sewell Motions’ — 55 to date. The offence of ‘Trespassing on a designated site’ is being introduced to address problems that police forces in England & Wales have had in tackling intruders on sites such as ‘Buckingham Palace’ and ‘Westminster’. However, ‘Scottish National Party’ spokesman Mr.Kenny Macaskill said:

Kenny Macaskill
‘This is unnecessary, unwanted and alien to Scotland.

‘”Scots’ Law” is perfectly adequate in this area and it’s contrary to where we’re going in terms of “right to roam”‘.

‘The Scottish Conservative and Unionists’ stressed that the change did nothing to reassure them about the bill as a whole, which they want debated in full by MSPs. Their Justice spokesman, Ms.Annabel Goldie said:

Annabel Goldie
‘I have to question whether these new measures are necessary.

‘But it’s only because such confusion was created under the Land Reform legislation that “anomalies” and “problems” like this are having to be addressed to ensure the Royal Family have the same security in Scotland as elsewhere in the United Kingdom’.

However, Justice Minister Ms.Cathy Jamieson said:

Cathy Jamieson
‘In light of discussions with “The Home Office” it is now proposed to make “amendments” to the bill, to extend to Scotland the offence of “Trespass on a designated site”.

‘What we are proposing is: creating a new offence of “entering — or being on — a designated site without lawful authority”.

‘This is a separate Scottish provision that has been drafted to take account of the clear distinction between “Scots’ Law” and the “concept of trespass” in “English law”.

‘We believe the public will recognise that “special measures” are necessary in relation to such sites, especially given “the threat of terrorist activity”‘.

The minister, who insisted the offence would not be called ‘Trespass’ in Scotland, said:

‘We are absolutely clear that nothing should be left to chance in terms of national security and the protection of the public’.

‘The Association of Chief Police Officers’ said the new offence was not necessary. Mr.James Chalmers, of the ‘Law school’ at ‘The University of Aberdeen’, argued that the ‘Trespass’ measures would add little to existing Scottish police powers.

However, Mr.Kenneth Norrie, legal Professor at ‘The University of Strathclyde’, said ‘Trespass’ was not alien to ‘Scots’ Law’. The ‘right to roam’ was enshrined in Land Reform legislation passed in 2003 by ‘The Scottish Parliament’. A proposed 66-page access code on the ‘right of responsible access’ was drawn up by ‘Scottish Natural Heritage’. It was generally welcomed by ‘The Scottish Landowners’ Federation’ (now called ‘The Scottish Rural Property and Business Association’) and ‘The National Farmers’ Union in Scotland’.



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