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Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016

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Section 16 – Content and duration of order

90.Section 16 makes provision about the prohibitions or requirements (or both) that may be contained in a SHPO. Each prohibition and requirement in a SHPO is for a fixed period. The order and the prohibitions and requirements may all be for the same period. The order ceases to have effect, if it has not already done so, when all of the requirements and prohibitions in the order have ceased to have effect.

91.Subsection (2) provides that those prohibitions or requirements will relate to things to be done or not done throughout the UK (unless expressly confined to particular localities).

92.Subsection (3) provides that any prohibition or requirement in the order must have a specified fixed period of not less than five years. This is subject to a further condition that requirements relating to a prohibition on foreign travel (dealt with in section 17) must be for a fixed period of not more than five years. As a result, prohibitions on foreign travel must always be for five years exactly.

93.The order can include any prohibition or requirement the court considers necessary for the purpose of subsection (6), including the prohibition of foreign travel to the country or countries specified in the order (or to all foreign countries, if that is what the order provides), as set out in section 17.

94.A SHPO may prohibit the person in respect of whom the order is made from doing things or require that person to do things. Subsection (4) provides that different prohibitions and requirements may have effect for different periods.

95.Subsection (6) sets out the tests for imposing prohibitions and requirements in a SHPO, namely that they are necessary to protect the public or any particular members of the public from sexual harm from the person (subsection (6)(a)) or to protect children or vulnerable adults generally, or any particular children or vulnerable adults, from sexual harm from the person outside the UK (subsection (6)(b)).

96.Subsection (7) provides that, if the court makes a SHPO in respect of a person already subject to such an order, the earlier order will cease to have effect.

Section 17 – Prohibitions on foreign travel

97.Section 17 makes provision about prohibitions on foreign travel in SHPOs.

98.Subsection (1) provides that the duration of the foreign travel prohibition may not exceed 5 years. Section 16(3) provides that SHPO prohibitions and requirements may not have effect for less than 5 years. Section 16(5) makes the rule in section 16(3) subject to section 17(1). As a result, foreign travel prohibitions will always apply for a period of 5 years exactly.

99.Subsection (2) provides that the order may prohibit the subject from travelling to a country outside the UK identified in the order; or from travelling to any country outside the UK other than a country identified in the order (for example, this may be needed where the offender is banned from travelling anywhere in the world other than to a named country which he/she may need to visit for family reasons); or from travelling to any country outside the UK (where the offender is such a risk to children or vulnerable adults that a universal ban is required).

100.Subsection (3) determines that a prohibition on foreign travel may be extended for further fixed periods of no more than five years each time (following an application under section 20).

101.Subsection (4) provides that a SHPO with a prohibition from travelling to any country outside the UK must include a requirement that the person surrenders their passports at a police station specified in the order.

102.Subsection (6) requires the police to return any surrendered passport as soon as reasonably practicable after the relevant foreign travel prohibition ceases, unless the person subject to the order is subject to an equivalent prohibition specified in another order. Circumstances where this subsection would not apply are provided for at subsection (7) (for example where, in relation to passports issued by another country or by an international organisation, the passport has already been returned to the relevant authority).

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Explanatory Notes

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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