Petitions of interest to be heard next week at Scottish Parliament

A number of petitions, some of which have been live for several years and are of significant interest, will be considered next week at the Scottish Parliament.

The cross-party Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform Committee (ECCLR) will be reviewing the status of these petitions that had previously been forwarded by the Petitions Committee. As we edge towards the end of the Parliamentary session, it may well be that the ECCLR Committee is trying to clear the decks – one of these petitions has been live since 2013!

Here’s the list:

PE1750: Independent monitoring of satellite tags fitted to raptors (submitted by Scottish Gamekeepers Association)

PE1755: Ban all single use plastics across Scotland (submitted by Stephen Henry)

PE1758: End greyhound racing in Scotland (submitted by Scotland Against Greyhound Racing)

PE1751: Create no wild camp zones in Scotland (submitted by Kirsteen Currie)

PE1762: End the killing of Wildlife on grouse moors and elsewhere in Scotland (submitted by OneKind)

PE1815: Translocate protected beavers to reduce licensed killing (submitted by Trees for Life)

PE1490: Control of wild goose numbers (submitted by Scottish Crofting Federation)

PE1615: State regulated licensing system for gamebird hunting (submitted by Scottish Raptor Study Group)

PE1664: Greater protection for mountain hares (submitted by OneKind)

PE1636: Require single use drinks cups to be biodegradable (submitted by Michael Traill)

PE1705: Wildlife crime – penalties and investigation (submitted by Alex Milne)

Certainly, some of these petitions could now be considered obsolete because progress has since been made, undoubtedly helped along by the petition itself. One of the petitions – the SGA’s embarrassingly ill-informed one about the monitoring of satellite tags fitted to raptors, will be discussed on here in the coming days.

The ECCLR Committee will meet on Tuesday 23rd February 2021 and I’ll add a video link here for those who wish to watch live proceedings. The official transcript will also be posted here when it becomes available.

UPDATE: The documents for the meeting on Tues 23rd February have now been published and are available to download here:

UPDATE 21st February 2021: Summary of petitions under consideration by Scottish Parliament’s Environment Committee on Tuesday (here)

UPDATE 22nd February 2021: Scottish gamekeepers’ petition calling for independent monitoring of raptor satellite tags is ‘fact-free nonsense’ (here)

6 thoughts on “Petitions of interest to be heard next week at Scottish Parliament”

  1. But a high ranking sga fella knows damm well who’s nobbling the raptors in deeside but because of his connection to the royals he’s shit scared to man up.

  2. PE1750 is a joke have you seen the size of the grouse moors out there in Scotland. Take for instance XXXXXXXXX estates “XXXXXXXXXX” outlying grouse moors who in there right mind is going to monitor a lunar landscape.

    [Ed: You’re on thin ice with potentially libellous commentary – please think before posting. Thanks]

  3. As you say, it is the case that some petitions may be obsolete. I’m concerned that my petition may well be deemed in that category, and no further action (I.e
    not even considered by the committee) taken.
    My petition is:
    PE1705: Wildlife crime – penalties and investigation (submitted by Alex Milne)
    The Committee do not seem to have been given my latest submission to from last year, updating the investigation aspect. The penalty aspect is now, 3 years after my first submission, incorporated in law, so obsolete. It has so far not been considered by the Environment committee.
    I can only hope that this is not an attempt to clear the books completely. Admittedly I am biased but the petition does deserve consideration as the reason it was raised is as important as ever. The law as it applies to wildlife crime, and in particular investigation, is in an unacceptable state since the interjection of Crown Counsel before my petition was submitted.

    1. I had a brief look at your petition. Your submission dated 31 March 2019 refers to Gubinas v HM Advocate [2017] HCJAC 25 and that in that case the court referred the matter to a hearing before a bench of five judges. This hearing took place and was reported, as you probably know, as Gubinas (Justinas) v HM Advocate [2017] HCJAC 59, 2018 JC 45.

      The decision basically says that the recording would be proof of fact, and the fact finders (the jury, the summary sheriff, or the JP) could make inferences from the audio or video recording in the same way they would be making when hearing oral testimony of a witness describing what happens on the recording. What this means in practical terms is that, as long as the provenance of the footage can be proven, the recording will “speak for itself” and there is no need for a witness to explain to the fact finder what is on footage / audio recording.

      However, I think Gubinas is only tangetially related to the issue of admissibility of covertly recorded CCTV evidence. The starting point when considering the admissibility of irregularly obtained evidence, such as the covert RSPB footage, I suggest, should be Lawrie v Muir 1950 JC 19:

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