Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:40 UK

Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill debate part 1

Holyrood voted to pass the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill during decision time, on 30 June 2010.

Earlier MSPs approved Scottish government plans to end short jail terms, during the consideration of a series of amendments to the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill at its final stage of parliamentary scrutiny.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill saw his amendment, calling for a presumption against prison sentences of three months or less, passed.

He said the measure would help "break the cycle of offending", with tough community sentences being combined with efforts to address the root causes of crimes.

Justice Committee convener Bill Aitken said the Conservatives were against the measure.

Mr Aitken said "for a small minority prison is the only thing that is going to work".

The Scottish Parliament rejected Labour-backed legislation to introduce mandatory six-month jail terms for anyone caught carrying a knife.

Labour's justice spokesman Richard Baker said Scotland's "blade culture" needed tough action, but Mr MacAskill said the courts already had powers to jail knife carriers for up to four years.

Scottish government amendments, introducing a specific crime of stalking, were agreed by MSPs.


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