Search Legislation

Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016

Lawfulness of search by constable
Section 65 – Limitation on what enables search

171.Section 65 provides that, where a person is not in police custody, it is unlawful for a search to be carried out by a police constable without express statutory authority, or without express authority conferred by a warrant. This provision will have the effect of ending the practice of ‘consensual’ stop and search.

Section 66 – Cases involving removal of person

172.Section 66 provides express statutory authority for constables to search a person in the circumstances where the police have a power under statute or warrant to transport a person from one place to another, or consider it necessary for the person’s care and protection to transport a person from one place to another. The search is for the purpose of safeguarding that person’s, or any other person’s, safety and well-being.

Section 67 – Public safety at premises or events

173.Section 67 provides express statutory authority for the police to search people as a condition of entry at relevant premises and events, for the purposes of ensuring the health, safety or security of people there. This is subject to specific conditions: the premises or event must be open to members of the public, entrance must be controlled by the occupier or organiser, (so this will not apply to public marches or demonstrations), the occupier or organiser must have imposed a condition of entry that the person consents to being searched and the person must inform the constable that they consent to being searched.

Section 68 – Duty to consider child’s wellbeing

174.Section 68 imposes a duty on a constable, when deciding whether to search a child (a person under 18) who is not in police custody, to treat the wellbeing of the child as a primary consideration.

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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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