Our Plan for Scotland

Restoring liberties

Restoring liberties

Liberals support the creativity and genius that comes from individual liberty and diversity. We stand for the individual against the state, for the outsider against the establishment.

That means it falls to Liberal Democrats to speak out in protection of individual liberty when it is threatened by an over-mighty state.

In the next five years we will protect liberties and traditional Scottish freedoms wherever we can. We will:

  • Stop the creation of the Scottish Government’s intrusive ID database;
  • Develop the approach taken in Estonia where data is considered to belong to the citizen and where people have the right to know who has accessed their information;
  • Take steps to safeguard people from the misuse of their data, CCTV images or biometric information;
  • Cut down the number of nuisance calls by stopping publicly-funded bodies sharing the telephone numbers of their clients without express permission;
  • Extend Freedom of Information to private and voluntary sector bodies performing public services;
  • Retain the need for corroboration in criminal cases;
  • Take major action to improve conviction rates for sexual offences, including consideration of legislation to allow research to be undertaken with jury members, the right of juries to be able to ask questions of expert witnesses or the provision of an expert adviser to assist juries with expert evidence, together with suggestions made in the Bonomy review;
  • Repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act and instead take forward the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism.​
  • We will support tolerance, diversity and human rights at home and abroad. We will:
  • Tackle bullying, act on hate crime and add to the training of frontline professionals so they can always provide equal services for diverse groups of people;
  • Support effective training of school staff to support LGBTI young people in schools, and make sure sexual health, parenthood and relationships education is LGBTI inclusive in all schools;
  • Condemn any form of ‘gay cure’ therapy in Scotland and consider any further steps that could be taken to make the practice unavailable in Scotland;
  • Decriminalise sex work in line with best international practice to reduce harm and the risks to those involved, and consult sex workers on the development of future legislation;
  • Introduce a protocol on human rights for Scottish public agencies operating in countries where there is cause for concern;
  • Establish a formal protocol for helping refugees in Scottish communities, to build on good practice and make sure refugees and host communities get the support they need;
  • Extend the rights of disabled people by empowering them, supporting individual autonomy and overhauling the guardianship system – including introducing staged-guardianship - through an Adults With Incapacity Act review;
  • Work with teachers and schools to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and ask local authorities to record such behaviour;
  • Reform the Gender Recognition Act to bring it into line with international good practice in recognising the gender identity of trans people, including consideration of the medical requirements placed on applicants, and recognise the gender identity of non-binary people;
  • Extend the rights of people in the care home system to cover matters such as access to the outdoors, the use of covert medication and the provision of meaningful activities, and extend help for people with special educational needs to access the services they need;
  • End the blood donation ban for gay men, replacing it with risk-based criteria for all potential donors;
  • Bring in fresh government legislation to provide for an opt-out system of organ donation in the first legislative programme;
  • Retain existing abortion legislation.