CLARE'S Law – the idea that women should have more information before entering relationships with abusive men – will not be introduced in Scotland any time soon.
The idea was floated but it was clear there will be no move towards special protection for women in Scotland until studies south of the Border are evaluated.
Scottish ministers are promising to look at the impact of moves in England to help women facing new relationships with abusers.But the concepts known as Clare's Law – which guarantees the right of women to find full details of their partner – met opposition at Holyrood yesterday.
Loading article content
First Minister Alex Salmond promised to examine the outcome of studies in England, but made clear that while he would back the idea he believed it needed much more work.
Mr Salmond said: "We will take on board any learning from those pilots when they conclude in September of this year.
"We will also discuss this matter with our partners such as Police Scotland and Scottish Women's Aid (SWA), to ensure we make the right decisions to protect victims in Scotland."
The MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Christine Grahame, said she was pleased the operation of the pilots in England is being monitored.
She said: "I have concerns that although we would all wish to protect women from violent partners, there are issues of human rights, confidentiality of any disclosures and, indeed, the possibility of vigilantism."
The First Minister added: "Christine Grahame is absolutely correct to say that this is not an easy area and you have to explore all of these complexities, and the evidence from the pilot studies before taking action.
"I know that Christine would also appreciate that the victims have human rights as well and among all these human rights is the right not to be subject to inhumane and degrading treatments.
"That is why this Government has increased substantially, by 62% the funding for campaigns against violence against women and why that is well recognised by those working in the field."
The First Minister added: "It's hugely important that we take the lessons from the pilot studies, we examine the complexities, but above all we have to have real conversation and discussion without partners, including SWA, to ensure we are doing the right thing to further extend the protection to people who are victims of domestic violence."
Earlier this week senior police in Scotland argued in favour of the idea of Clare's Law.
A pilot scheme to allow people to check if their partner has a violent past is starting in parts of England and Wales.
The Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wiltshire and Nottinghamshire forces are involved in the scheme, which will end in September. It is nicknamed Clare's law, after Clare Wood of Salford, murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton, whom she met on Facebook.
She complained several times to police about him before her death in 2009.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme pilot allows people to find out officially whether their partner, or a person who is in a relationship with someone they know, has a violent or abusive past.
Michael Brown, Clare Wood's father and a campaigner for the scheme, said: "I had to lose my daughter to get this far, so I don't take a great deal of pleasure from it.
"I felt the pendulum had swung too far in favour of the perpetrator rather than the victim."