A non-exhaustive list of issues raised during the development of SNAP 2 includes:
- Several human rights issues were raised in relation to the criminal justice system, and a particular focus was custodial sentences and the conditions for people on remand. For example, there are too many people on remand, some people can spend more time on remand than their sentence would have been if they had been convicted, and the conditions people on remand face can be worse than those of people who have been convicted. A comprehensive human rights review of the whole system has never been undertaken – without this, many issues may not be properly addressed.
- Some people experience poorer human rights outcomes and their rights are most at risk – both in accessing justice and within the criminal justice system. People whose rights are most at risk should be identified and prioritised on an action-by-action basis, before activity begins
- Members of migrant communities who are subject to or engaged by the criminal justice or immigration enforcement processes in Scotland face multiple human rights issues and can be excluded from decision-making. Action is needed to improve human rights compliance and rights-based approaches by relevant devolved institutions.
- Evidence shows that people whose rights are most at risk do not have good access to the independent advocacy services they need to help them participate in decision-making, access justice and realise their rights.
- There are existing gaps in legal and advice service provision which hampers people’s routes to justice and remedy. Furthermore, to prepare for incorporation of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights into domestic Scots law, work is needed to systematically identify any gaps in accessibility to relevant, quality legal and other advice in relation to these rights.
- Human rights frameworks should include the tools and mechanisms for accountability of duty bearers on fulfilling their human rights obligations, which means tracking the steps taken to protect and realise rights outcomes not just reporting on processes. The place of rights-holders in being able to hold the government to account – particularly on strategies and action plans – is not well understood or applied.
- Carry out a whole system human rights review of the justice system, focused on examining the root causes of over-reliance on custodial sentences and conditions for people on remand. Use the findings and recommendations to inform and influence work to reduce the remand population and improve conditions.
- Carry out a human rights review of the lived experience of members of migrant communities who are subject to or engaged by the criminal justice or immigration enforcement processes in Scotland. Particular focus on those members of migrant communities whose rights are most at risk and who live in socio-economic precariousness or legal immigration insecurity. Use the findings and recommendations to inform and improve human rights compliance by devolved institutions and rights-based participation and learning approaches with migrants.
- Carry out a mapping exercise of independent advocacy services that enable individuals and groups whose rights are most at risk to participate in decision-making, access justice and realise their rights. Use the findings and recommendations to inform, improve and support the implementation of work to develop, expand and ensure access to universal and specialist independent advocacy services across Scotland.
- Carry out a mapping exercise of the provision of legal and advice services to individuals on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights in Scotland, identifying any geographical, issue-specific, or service provision gaps. Use the findings and recommendations to inform and improve policy and funding for advice and other services, and implementation of the proposed Human Rights Bill in Scotland.
- Develop, test and evaluate mechanisms for rights holder-led accountability on at least two Scottish Government strategies or actions plans. Use the findings and recommendations to inform, improve and support the implementation of rights holder-led accountability across all public bodies in Scotland.
End of page.