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
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...
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...
"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...
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.
Standards Update December 2020
15th December 2020
Our latest Standards Update is now available.
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...
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
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...
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.
6th October 2020
A Standards Commission Panel recently used its powers to disqualify an elected member for the first time, following a finding that the councillor had subjected colleagues and council officers to unjustified allegations of wrong-doing and demeaning personal attacks over a long period of time. These went well beyond what might be considered normal or even acceptable in a party-political context and, instead, were found to amount to harassment. The written decision can be found