Police Scotland policy on recording rape: how did it evolve and where does responsibility lie?

In recent weeks Police Scotland’s policy on recording the identity of those charged with the crime of rape has received considerable media attention. As revealed in a bluntly worded Freedom of Information (FOI) response we received in April last year,…

Who represents the interests of female staff in Scottish universities?

Summary In October 2021 we submitted Freedom of Information requests to fifteen Scottish Universities asking whether each institution has a single-sex, female-only staff network or representative body, if so, who membership is open to. The responses indicate that no university…

Polling shows being supportive of transgender self-expression is not the same as supporting self-declaration for legal gender recognition  

In September 2021 the Scottish Government set out a commitment to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to allow for a person to change their sex in law based on self-declaration, without medical gatekeeping, in its Programme for Government. We…

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004: options and opportunities

The blog below sets out a range of options for reform of the Gender Recognition Act that meet the high level aims of several political parties, that is, to simplify the process and reduce its intrusiveness, particularly in relation to…

Back from the brink: how the Scottish Government was forced to concede it had conflated sex and gender identity in the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

In 2018 the Scottish Government brought forward legislation to add new voluntary questions on gender identity and sexual orientation to the next Scottish census. The Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 2 October 2018. As…

Did MSPs approve the guidance for the sex question in Scotland’s census?

In recent correspondence, the Scottish Government implied that previous parliamentary discussion on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act has lent weight to its decision to issue guidance for the sex question in Scotland’s 2022 census which advised respondents they may answer…

Diminishing the value of public sector data: How the Chief Statistician’s guidance lost sight of biological sex

UPDATE: We received a letter from the Commission yesterday evening which confirmed that the advice provided to the Scottish Government "could have been clearer" and that the Commission is developing guidance on data collection for public authorities. In light of…

MBM response to the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee decision on Petition 1876

We are pleased at the Committee’s decision to continue to work on the petition and gather further evidence. The petition raises substantive questions about the accuracy and reliability of criminal justice statistics, particularly in relation to serious sexual offending. It…