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Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012

Liability for Unlawful Conduct

34.Section 24 provides for liability for unlawful conduct by constables in line with the provisions currently included in the 1967 Act. This is needed because police officers are office holders, not employees, and the usual liability arrangements whereby employers are liable for unlawful acts on the part of their employees do not apply. Specifically it provides that the chief constable will be liable for any unlawful conduct in the carrying out of their functions by (a) a constable under his or her direction and control or (b) a member of an international joint investigation team who is not a constable or member of SPA staff or police staff. The SPA must pay any damages or expenses awarded against the chief constable (or the person carrying out his or her functions if the office of chief constable is vacant) in any proceedings under this section, any expenses incurred by the chief constable and any sum required in relation to the settlement of any claim against the chief constable which has or might have given rise to such proceedings. The SPA can, if and to the extent that it thinks fit, pay any damages or expenses awarded against a constable in relation to unlawful conduct by them, any expenses incurred by them, and any sum required in connection with the settlement of any claim which has or may have given rise to such proceedings.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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