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Partnerships Prosecution Bill passed

The UK Parliament has formally approved a new law that will amend the criminal liability of partnerships in Scotland. The Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Bill will now go forward for royal assent.

Reforming the criminal liability of partnerships in Scots law became necessary after the tragedy of the Rosepark nursing home fire in Lanarkshire in 2004 in which 14 residents lost their lives.

The case against the care home operators failed in the courts because of a loophole which prevented the prosecution of a partnership once it had been dissolved.

Once it is in force, the new law will make sure that all Scottish partnerships can be held to account if they commit crimes and prevent them escaping prosecution for potentially serious offences by dissolving.

Speaking at the Third Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons earlier this week, William Bain, the MP for Glasgow North East, stressed that the Bill will close an important gap in the law.

“We cannot remove the suffering that the families and loved ones of the deceased have experienced in these past nine years, but we can ensure that, by enacting these reforms, other people affected by the conduct of partnerships are never put in a similar position again,” he said. “That is the best tribute we in this Parliament can make to the 14 people who so tragically and unnecessarily lost their lives.”

 

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