Stewart Stevenson MSP

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Stewart Stevenson MSP

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  • Member for: Banffshire and Buchan Coast
  • Region: North East Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Stewart is a member of the following Committees:

Stewart is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Member of the Conveners Group

Search for other Speeches made by Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
4. Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government how investment in hybrid ferries will contribute to meeting its low-carbon targets. (S4O-03594)



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson

The announcement of the third hybrid ferry is welcome. I was pleased to be associated with the previous initiatives.

What investment is being made in other forms of public transport in Scotland to ensure that targets on carbon emissions are met?



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

Would the member agree that the welcome addition of the register of recusers will help us in the future to understand the nature and scope of the ways in which judges have to stand down? I suspect that it might show us that financial considerations are the least of it. However, until we see the results, that is speculation, and merely a personal opinion.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

I congratulate Peter Cherbi on his petition. Whatever position we take on its substance, it is opportune to debate the issues around it because, far from being trivial matters of process, they go to the very heart of trust in the justice system. For the record, I am speaking in the debate not, in any sense, as the convener of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee but as an individual member of the Parliament.

It was with grave misgivings that I heard Jackson Carlaw introduce his speech by saying that he really had nothing to say. I wondered whether the debate was going to turn out to be one of those real political debates that are over not when everything has been said but when everybody has said it. However, so far, every member has made an individual contribution, which is very good.

I intervened on Graeme Pearson for a particular reason. I tried to consider when my entry in the members’ register of interests has come into play. I put many things into it voluntarily, as many of us do, because I think that even though I am not required to mention them, they are things that might matter. For example, I have declared a shareholding in a major bank voluntarily, although it is below the level that requires to be registered, as that touches on lots of things.

When we talk about the interests and connections that a judge might have that would cause recusal, I suspect—but cannot prove at this stage—that finance would be the least of them. I would guess that such interests will almost certainly be relationships, membership of clubs and attendance at events.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson

I am obliged for that. I did not know that, but the committee convener has put flesh on the bones of my assumption. We will see how it pans out when there are more recusals.

Of necessity, we cannot anticipate and put in a register everything of that character that will come up, or our whole lives would have to be on the register. I have been pursuing genealogical research into my family tree for more than 50 years and have 4,600 people in my family tree. How could I put them all on the register meaningfully? We must be careful, therefore, not to imagine that this is the silver bullet.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson

I want to cover one or two things. If possible, I will come back to Mr Wilson.

The issue in respect of judges is not new. Clause 19 of the Union with England Act 1707, which is one of the bigger clauses in the act, is about the appointment of judges, and it states:

“That no Writer to the Signet be capable to be admitted a Lord of the Session unless he undergo a private and publick Tryal on the Civil Law before the Faculty of Advocats and be found by them qualified for the said Office”.

Worrying about whom we appoint as judges is not new.

That takes us to the heart of the matter. The Romans had a saying: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”—who will guard the guards? If judges misbehave or do not come up to the required standard, how do we deal with that? Inevitably, there must be a judicial process exercised by whomsoever grips that one.

We have to appoint the right people, because I do not think that we can prescribe and describe all the circumstances that may touch on their ability to make decisions. That is not to say that having a register of financial interests would be without value; I just do not want colleagues to imagine that it would really do much more than scratch the surface of the issue.

We all have interests. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth set out a budget today. Will he buy a house in the future and, therefore, be affected by the decisions that he has brought to Parliament on taxing transactions on housing? The answer is, of course, yes. The real test is whether he is doing anything that does other than affect the generality of people—he must not instead do things that affect him or a particular group of which he is a member. That is the kind of test that judges must have in their mind at all times.

I close, Presiding Officer, by saying—



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson

I encourage Lord Gill and his successors to think about recalibrating their relationship with Parliament. However, when my colleague Joan McAlpine talked about being a journalist, I immediately reflected that journalists are entitled to, and properly do—



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
Stewart Stevenson

—keep their sources secret. Therefore, not everything can be in the public domain. Ultimately, we have to choose the right people. We have to trust them, and we have to treat them extremely harshly if that trust is not fulfilled.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

I welcome the substantial staff improvements and new jobs that will come with the new franchise: the living wage, trade unions on the board, 100 new apprentices and the protection of pensions and travel rights. Is it not the case that we must move ahead urgently to deliver those things for staff now, rather than have staff wait for years—perhaps forever—for new railway powers to come to the Scottish Parliament? It is simply not the time to put Scotland on hold, especially for an indeterminate period.



Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)

I want to pick up on what Dr Anderson said precisely. He said, “it is commonly done”. Can you give the committee a sense of how frequently it happens? We may have individual views on what the word “commonly” might mean, but I want to test what you meant.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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YesCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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YesCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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YesCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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YesCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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YesCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Stewart Stevenson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11008: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10600: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10473: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10312: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, Date Lodged: 12/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10244: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10243: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10200: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10089: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09510: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08833: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, Date Lodged: 23/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Stewart Stevenson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03594: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03478: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03434: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03140: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/04/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03048: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02929: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/02/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02882: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02713: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2013 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-18081: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2013 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-18075: Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/11/2013 Show Full Question >>