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A legal opinion was sought and provided which suggested the policy may be open to legal challenge. The process was not found to be unlawful. Previous challenges of equality mechanisms have broadly found where a mechanism is employed... (...)
Christopher McEleny @ChrisMcElenyWorth noting that @theSNP NEC has 2 members of ScotGov cabinet on it who approved an unlawful process for the regional lists. An action that if it was made as a minister at Cabinet would’ve been in breach of the ministerial code.
on the basis of securing participation or representation by an under represented group and where this participation is demonstrably lower can than can reasonably be expected; actions may be taken to increase participation or engagement of this or these groups. (...)
There is a legitimate interest for the party to increase the number of BAME and Disabled candidates and using an equality selection mechanism which provides for this is done with the purposes of the above and is a reasonably justified means of securing a legitimate aim. (...)
There are just under 11,000 registered Solicitors and around 730 Advocates in Scotland. Divergence of opinion is nothing new in terms of the law and legal opinions are sought, obtained and considered in organisations the length and breadth of these Islands every day. (...)
While legal opinions are useful and help guide the development of policy, they are not prescriptive and do not override the need for decisions to be taken, in the round, and with a view to accessibility and the removing of barriers. (...)
In the 21 years of the Scottish Parliament's existence, 2 BAME MSPs were elected to the Scottish Parliament representing Scottish Labour and 2 representing the SNP. All 4 were male. (...)
We currently have 1 MSP who has openly declared a disability at election and he is a Tory MSP. While 1 in 5 Scots are themselves disabled. We should have around 23 disabled MSPs to reflect that. (...)
If the previous SNP administration had dealt with this serious and significant disparity between what our party looks like and what the country looks like, then we wouldn't need to employ these equality mechanisms in the first place.
Ps. The only way a policy can be adjudged to be unlawful is by a judge.

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