Source: (2001) In Victim policies and criminal justice on the road to restorative justice: Essays in honour of Tony Peters, ed. E. Fattah and S. Parmentier, 211-224. With an introduction by E. Fattah and S. Parmentier. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

The focus in this paper is on change in the Scottish criminal justice system. According to Peter Young, various factors are pushing this quiet revolution. At the core of change is the process of devolution – the creation of a Scottish Parliament and return of significant autonomy to Scotland following the passage of the Scotland Act in 1998 by the English Parliament. Devolution introduced two significant dynamics into Scottish criminal justice. One, the Act transferred responsibility for all matters related to criminal justice to the Scottish Parliament. Two, the Act incorporated into Scottish law the European Convention on Human Rights. Young construes these two factors as potentially pushing Scottish criminal justice in divergent, perhaps even opposite, directions. On the one hand, the assumption of responsibility for criminal justice suggests the possibility of bringing Scottish culture and local communities into greater touch with criminal law. On the other hand, the incorporation of human rights suggests the possibility of favoring the rights of the individual at the expense of the needs and demands of the community. Young explores these dynamics and their potential for radically transforming Scottish criminal justice.