Legislation / Legal

WAG: An independent review of the Welsh Assembly Government’s handling of a sexual harassment case found that the original investigation was conducted with a commitment to thoroughness & fairness and that the conclusions reached were reasonable under the circumstances.
Following the original six month investigation, the WAG found that there was insufficient evidence to uphold the complaint, but the complainant pursued a civil claim in the Cardiff County Court, which subsequently upheld her complaint. 
One of the key aims of the independent review was to understand why the outcome was different and whether lessons could be learned for the future. The review makes a number of recommendations on how policies and procedures for dealing with inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and the investigation of personal grievances could be improved.
Press release ~ Review of an investigation undertaken under the Dignity at Work policy in relation to the complaint of Christine Bevan in relation to Graham Evans ~ Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (c. 40) ~ ECU: Dignity at Work ~ Related news item
ScotGov: The Scottish Government will legislate to strengthen procedures for disclosing evidence in criminal cases. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill made the commitment following a public consultation into the report of Lord Coulsfield's independent review of the law and practice of disclosure in criminal proceedings in Scotland, published in September 2007.

The Scottish Government response - 'A Statutory Basis for Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings in Scotland' - confirms that Ministers will introduce legislation to:
* Set in statute a clear definition of the legal requirements for disclosure
* Provide a statutory code of practice detailing the appropriate disclosure procedures & responsibilities
* Introduce a system of Public Interest Immunity hearings to achieve a balance between protecting sensitive or confidential information and the requirement to disclose
 * Codify a system for notifying defence agents, in solemn (the most serious) cases, about the existence of non-sensitive material that has not been disclosed
Press release ~ Review of the Law and Practice of Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings in Scotland ~ 'A Statutory Basis for Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings in Scotland'
ScotParl: Concerns about aspects of the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill have been raised by the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee.  Within the report that does recommend Parliament agree to the general principles of the bill, the committee expressed reservations about the administrative & organisational responsibilities being placed on the Lord President.
The report also queries the proposal regarding direct authority for the Scottish Court Service being taken away from Scottish Ministers.
Press release ~ Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill ~ Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee
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