Why is this important?
We often take our civil liberties for granted but the truth is that we need to work hard to ensure that they are protected properly. Liberal Democrats in the UK and Scottish Parliaments have a proud record of standing up for our traditional Scottish freedoms. We are the only party that will do so.
Is this not just a Westminster issue?
No. Of course there are things happening at Westminster that we don’t like – Tory moves to reinstate plans for a snoopers’ charter that we blocked in government, for example.
It was Liberal Democrats in the last UK Government that prevented the Conservatives from abolishing the Human Rights Act during the last Parliament. In opposition we continue to vigorously oppose this dangerous proposal and the adoption of a piecemeal human rights framework across the UK.
But the SNP’s record in government on civil liberties also does not stand up to scrutiny.
On their watch we have seen the industrial-scale use of police stop and search, a tactic that has been criticised by the United Nations.
We have seen armed police on routine duties on the streets of the Highlands and across Scotland, despite opposition from locals.
The SNP government have moved to scrap corroboration in criminal cases – a vital safeguard against miscarriages of justice.
And we have seen SNP Ministers force through plans for a new super ID database that would mean more than 100 public sector organisations able to access information from the NHS central register. The experts say this could put our privacy at risk but the SNP don’t want to listen.
What are you going to do about it?
We would scrap the SNP’s planned super ID database to help ensure that our private information is protected as best possible. Our plans to boost local democratic accountability in the police would also means local councils getting a bigger say over things like the deployment of armed police officers on routine duties.
We will also put human rights at the heart of Scotland’s international relations by introducing a protocol for Scottish public agencies operating in countries where there is cause for concern.