Scots have eye on law as they lend ear to victims

July 6, 2001

Researchers at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen are to help the Scottish Executive in its commitment to review legal protection for victims of stalking and harassment.

Sue Morris and Sam Middlemiss, senior lecturers in RGU's school of public administration and law, are leading the project, which is due to be completed next May.

Iain Gray, Scotland's deputy justice minister, said: "We need to develop a better understanding of stalking and harassment in Scotland so that we can work towards improving the protection which our laws and services give to victims."

The research will include interviews to discover the perceptions and experiences of victims of stalking and of professionals such as police officers, court prosecutors and solicitors.

It will look at the criminal and civil law remedies available to victims and the ways in which agencies deal with complaints.

Ultimately, the research will help ministers decide whether new anti-harassment laws are needed north of the border.

Ms Morris said: "There is a huge range of new research opportunities in Scotland at the moment. I am particularly interested in how devolution is working in practice. The university can play an important part in evaluation and research of this type."

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