The Scottish Government is to bring forward a total of 14 Bills at Holyrood over the next 12 months, it has been revealed in Humza Yousaf’s Programme for Government.
New legislation will be brought in with the aim of making misogynistic abuse a crime – with the First Minister saying this comes in the wake of work done by Baroness Helena Kennedy on the issue.
But Mr Yousaf added that this legislation could only be part of the response to tackling the abuse and harassment that women and girls face – as he highlighted the “need to build a society where men feel confident in taking a stand against misogyny”.
He told MSPs: “Men, all of us, myself included, need to do more than simply call out negative male behaviour.”
An Education Bill will be brought in to establish a new qualifications body for Scotland, and to create an independent education inspectorate.
And ministers will introduce a Housing Bill, with Mr Yousaf saying this would “introduce long-term rent controls and new tenant rights” as well as establishing new duties on the prevention of homelessness.
A Human Rights Bill will seek to incorporate international economic, social and cultural rights into Scots law, “within the limits of devolved competence”, the Programme for Government said.
Here Mr Yousaf said: “As part of our mission to promote equality, we will improve human rights protections through our Human Rights Bill.”
A Land Reform Bill is proposed to improve transparency with regards to land ownership in Scotland, with this First Minister adding it would also seek to give “communities more opportunities to own land”.
In addition, this legislation will look to modernise tenant farming and small landholding legislation.
Mr Yousaf also pledged to create a “new framework for rural support” with the Agriculture Bill.
Meanwhile, a Scottish Languages Bill will provide legal recognition for both Gaelic and Scots, and will strengthen requirements for the provision of Gaelic medium education – where children are taught in Gaelic.
And a Cladding Remediation Bill will look to enable the Government to undertake urgent measures to deal with unsafe cladding materials that “present a risk to life”, the programme said.
Ministers also plan legislation on a Scottish Aggregates Tax, with a Bill to set out the key arrangements for a devolved tax, as the Social Security (Amendment) Bill will aim to allow the Government to recover devolved social security from compensation awards where a third party’s fault is the reason for the payments being made.
Elsewhere, an Electoral Reform Bill will seek to improve the law covering Scottish Parliament and Scottish council elections, while there will also be legislation to update the law surrounding the appointing and supervision of judicial factors – who are appointed by the Court of Session to manage and administer property in a range of circumstances.
Meanwhile, the Gender Representation on Public Boards Remedial Action Bill will remove the definition of a “woman ” from section 2 of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 following a judicial review.
And, as always, the Government will bring forward a Budget Bill, setting out its tax and spending plans for the coming year.
In addition to this, ministers will also support a Member’s Bill from Green MSP Gillian Mackay which aims to establish buffer zones around abortion clinics.
The Government will also bring back the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill for reconsideration, after the UK Supreme Court ruled parts of this legislation were outside of Holyrood’s powers.
And the Scottish Government will support Green MSP Mark Ruskell to bring back the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, after the same thing happened to this legislation.