§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, following the failure of prosecutions of limited liability companies on charges relating to the sale or display of indecent or obscene material because of the lack of dole or mens rea, he will introduce amending legislation to safeguard the public interest.
§ Mr. Rifkind
Although the Court of Appeal has ruled that because they lack the necessary mens rea limited liability companies cannot competently be charged with the common law offences of shamelessly indecent conduct in selling or exposing for sale indecent or obscene material, there are statutory offences relating to indecent or obscene material set out in the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892 and related local Acts which can competently be charged against companies as well as against individuals. As indicated in the consultation paper issued in July last year, it is proposed that such offences should be consolidated and the penalties increased in the Civic Government (Scotland) Bill.