Two recent court rulings in Scotland: bad news for Scotland’s census but good news for public data collection

This blog considers two recent rulings by the Inner House of the Court of Session. These are the ruling in the Appeal case brought by For Women Scotland (FWS), which sought to overturn an earlier judgment in favour of the Scottish…

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,…

MBM correspondence with the Scottish Government re. guidance for the sex question in the 2022 census (Oct/Nov 2021)

Our correspondence with the Scottish Government regarding the proposed guidance for the sex question in the 2022 census. MBM letter to the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Angus Robertson MSP (20 October 2021) https://murrayblackburnmackenzie.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/MBM-letter-on-census-guidance-20-October-2021.pdf Response from…

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

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…

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…