This page contains up-to-date information on our 2020-21 Strategic Objective 'Policy Advice to Ministers - Counter-Terrorism & Sentencing Bill 2021'. Find out the project leads, how to contact us, and get progress updates and more below.

Objective and Outcome

We will produce a rapid review of Counter Terrorism Literature relating to risk assessment and management and work closely with key stakeholders to understand the response to Counter Terrorism in Scotland.

Our review will inform Ministerial advice and discussions around Counter Terrorism sentencing. Our work will identify and allow us to manage any impact on the RMA, the OLR and the use of MAPPA.

Project Leads

This is an Effective Practice strategic objective and will be led by our Head of Effective Practice. Find out more about us and how you can get in touch below.

Lesley Weber (Head of Effective Practice)

Lesley is a qualified social worker, spending the last 13 years in London specialising in domestic abuse, the wider violence against women and girls (VAWG) agenda, and public protection.

Lesley has held specialist operational and strategic managerial roles in statutory children and families services, the family courts and the domestic abuse sector.  A key focus of Lesley’s has been to implement evidence-based practice, ensuring consistency in the use of risk assessment and risk management tools.  This has involved supporting professionals and agencies to take a more triangulated approach to domestic abuse/VAWG through taking into account the children, victim and perpetrator when assessing and planning.  Lesley has practiced as an expert risk and vulnerability assessor for the family courts in cases where domestic abuse is a concern.

@LesleyWeber79     #RMAEffective

Elaine Ferguson

Dr Elaine Ferguson (Effective Practice Lead)

Elaine joined the RMA in October 2020 as part of the Effective Practice team. She comes to the RMA from an academic legal background, having graduated with a law degree from the University of Glasgow in 2013 before going on to a PhD focused on orders for lifelong restriction.

Previously, Elaine taught on a range of law modules at the Universities of Glasgow and Stirling including criminal law and evidence, jurisprudence, medical law, and a number of other private and public law courses. Her research interests in criminal law, criminal procedure, and mental health law are broad, but my special interest and expertise lie in the field of risk-based sentencing. Her role as Effective Practice Lead (Policy) involves drawing upon prior expertise to inform evidence-based, impactful policy development.

@FergusonElaine     #RMAEffective

Project Plan and Timeline

At the RMA we have a statutory duty to give advice and make recommendations to Scottish Ministers. This objective is a complex project with a number of development phases:

  • Initial Review into Impact on OLR and Sentencing – October 2020 -May 2021
  • Literature Reviews – October 2020 – May 2021
  • Review and Advice Relating to Existing and Proposed Risk Management Processes – October 2020 – June 2021
  • Review into Specialist Interventions – October 2020 – March 2022

Partners and Working Groups

For this project we are working with a range of external stakeholders. Partners include:

  • Scottish Government: Public Protection; MAPPA; Professional Justice Social Work; Community Interventions; Legal Department; Contest, Protect and Repair; and PREVENT.
  • Scottish Prison Service
  • Forensic Network / SOLS
  • Police Scotland Organised Crime Counter-Terrorism Unit
  • Parole Board for Scotland

In addition, we will work with the following working groups on this objective:

  • TACT National Working Group
  • MAPPA Development Group
  • MAPPA Coordinators Group
  • Scottish CONTEST Delivery Group

Evidence Base

Evidence for this project will be drawn from Literature Reviews and information from stakeholders.

Progress Updates

In March we provided the Cabinet Secretary for Justice with information on the implications of the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill 2021 for the OLR sentence. Over the summer, the team have been focussed on completing rapid literature reviews. Working closely with our stakeholders, this work will inform discussions around the assessment and management of Counter-Terrorism in Scotland. The reviews are due for publication by the end of September.

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