Justice and security after Brexit (rights and crime)

Last updated: 6 February 2020

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.

We're now in a transition period (also known as the implementation period) that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. This means the UK is currently still following EU rules.

In January 2021 the transition period will end and our new relationship with the EU will begin. There will be effects on some areas of life in Scotland.

This may include changes to justice policy.

The UK is now in the Brexit transition period. This means many of the details about what Brexit will mean are not yet known. This page gives the latest facts, but it will be updated as more details are confirmed. Please keep checking back for new information.

Scotland's justice system and agencies play an important role in:

  • protecting individual rights
  • investigating crime
  • prosecuting crime

Brexit may have an impact on some parts of the justice system, but the Scottish Government and justice agencies will continue to work to make sure Scotland is safe.

Scotland has its own legal and judicial system, criminal laws and law enforcement agencies. The Scottish Government handles justice policy, while the Lord Advocate is head of the independent system that investigates and prosecutes crime.

This justice system helps keep Scotland safe and fair, and it will continue to do this after Brexit.

Scotland's prosecution and police services have a strong relationship with justice agencies in countries throughout the EU. Common tools like the European Arrest Warrant and other EU information-sharing measures help law agencies in Scotland and across the EU tackle cross-border crime and terrorism.

The impact of Brexit may have an effect on how Scotland delivers justice and protects the public. However, the Scottish Government will aim, as far as it is able, to make sure Brexit doesn't affect Scotland's cross-border relationship with the EU, so our police and law enforcement agencies can continue fighting cross-border crime.

Hate crime

Everybody should feel welcome in Scotland, no matter what their colour, race or background is.

Find out how to get help and support if you're the victim of a hate crime.

More information

More details on justice matters after Brexit will be added to this page as new information is available.

'Scotland's Place in Europe: security, judicial co-operation and law enforcement' is a document from the Scottish Government that explains in more detail the importance of keeping a close relationship with the EU for security, law enforcement and criminal justice reasons.

The content on this site is correct as of today's date and is based on the information available at this time. Regular updates will be made as the Brexit process develops. In the event of a 'no deal', additional advice and information will be given on this site. Please continue to check back for updates.