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About Us

The Standards Commission is an independent body whose purpose is to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors and those appointed to the boards of devolved public bodies.

News and Blog

BSL video on Councillors' Code of Conduct and Guidance - Advice for Members of the Public

25th March 2021

We have created a British Sign Language video outlining and explaining the main provisions in the Councillors’ Code of Conduct. The video covers:⦁ The key principles⦁ General conduct including respect, confidentiality and gifts and hospitality⦁ R...

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Direction on the Eligibility of Complaints

1st March 2021

The Standards Commission has issued a Direction to the Ethical Standards Commissioner (ESC) requiring her to carry out an investigation into every complaint about a councillor and member of a devolved public body she receives, unless: the conduct referred to in the complaint would not, even if it could be established to have occurred, constitute a contravention of the councillors', or as the case may be, the members' code; the councillor or a member of a devolved public...

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Appeal Decision

11th February 2021

At a hearing on 4 February 2021, a Sheriff Principal considered an appeal lodged by a Respondent against a decision made by a Panel of the Standards Commission, at a Hearing on 10 September 2020, to find him in breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and to disqualify him. The Sheriff Principal did not consider, or make any finding, on the Panel’s decisions on breach and sanction, but determined that it should not have proceeded with the Hearing in the absence of the Respondent...

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"You're on Mute!"

11th February 2021

The recent viral video of a lawyer in Texas who got stuck with a cat filter on Zoom, during a virtual court case, shows online meetings and hearings don't always go to plan! Since last March, the majority of our Hearings and training events have been held online and - while we don't want to tempt fate - these have run remarkably smoothly. We were lucky in that the first Hearing we’d scheduled after the full lockdown restrictions started, was not until July, so we had plent...

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Business Manager & Caseworker Recruitment

4th February 2021

We are currently recruiting a part-time Business Manager and a part-time Caseworker. More information about both roles can be found on the Vacancies page of the website.

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Standards Update December 2020

15th December 2020

Our latest Standards Update is now available.

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Committee on Standards in Public Life Public (CSPL) Consultation: Standards Matter 2

2nd December 2020

The CSPL is carrying out a landscape review of the institutions, processes and structures in place to support high standards of conduct. The review’s terms of reference can be found here and include: reviewing how well ethical standards are upheld in public life in the UK as a whole and the strength of...

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Recruitment for a new Convener

26th November 2020

As Professor Dunion’s fixed term appointment is due to end next year, the Scottish Parliamentary corporation is seeking to appoint, with the agreement of the Scottish Parliament, a new Convener for the Standards Commission. The Convener’s role is to promote and encourage high ethical standards in public life and ensure the Standards Commission operates efficiently and effectively. The advert can be found at

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Direction on the Outcome of Investigations

17th November 2020

The Standards Commission has issued a Direction to the Ethical Standards Commissioner (ESC) requiring her to provide a report to the Standards Commission, at the conclusion of every investigation into a complaint about a councillor or member of a devolved public body received on or after 12 November 2020, outlining her findings and conclusions as to whether or not there has been a contravention of the relevant Code. The Direction means that the Standards Commission will make the final de...

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Scottish Government Consultations on the Councillors' Code of Conduct and the Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies

19th October 2020

The Scottish Government has today launched consultations on both the Councillors' Code of Conduct and the Model Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies. The consultation on the Councillors’ Code can be found here.

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