LibLink: Alison McInnes: The SNP’s record on human rights is atrocious

Writing on the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ website for Human Rights Day, Alison McInnes looked critically at the SNP’s records on human rights. For all their noise at Westminster, at Holyrood, they are most definitely found wanting.

But the Scottish Government also has a responsibility to act in accordance with international and domestic human rights legislation and the SNP’s record in government is dismal.

This week alone, the SNP rejected moves to increase the age of criminal responsibility to ensure that children are treated like children, not crooks. This was against the advice of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and other campaigners.

Scotland is the only part of the UK, and unique in Europe, in forcing eight-year-olds into the criminal justice system.

Elsewhere, the SNP eventually agreed to Liberal Democrat plans to end the industrial use of discredited, illegal so-called consensual police searches, but they had to be dragged kicking and screaming.

They are intent on creating a super ID database that privacy and civil liberties campaigners have opposed fiercely. Scottish ministers have rejected moves to extend the voting franchise to short-term prisoners, contrary to the ruling of the European Court on Human Rights. And Police Scotland have been found to have been illegally spying on journalists’ sources.

So if we judge the SNP on their record and not their rhetoric then it is clear they cannot be trusted to uphold precious rights. Human rights should be the same in Aberdeen and Edinburgh as they are in London, Belfast or Cardiff.

The SNP are absolutely right to oppose Tory plans for the abolition of the Human Rights Act.

But you cannot claim to defend human rights in London while ignoring them in Edinburgh.

You can read the whole article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

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  • The minimum age for criminal prosecution in Scotland is 12 and was raised to that age in 2010 by the SNP Government.

  • In Scotland the age of criminal responsibility is still 8 but a prosecution cannot take place until the age of 12. There is a possibility of some other form of intervention before the age of 12.

    In England and Wales it is 10.

  • It is also worth noting that the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill proposes that Scottish Ministers would be able to independently authorise warrants for interception of communications when it relates to a “Relevant Scottish Application”.

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