Scottish Plans for a Parades Commissioner
PLANS to appoint an expert advisor to review the routing of loyalist and republican parades are due to be announced by the end of the month by the Scottish Executive.
The advisor will review the licensing system which decides whether parades can go ahead amid concerns about sectarian trouble at some marches.
At the moment, marches can only be banned if the police believe there is a serious threat to public order, but it is thought ministers want to give communities a greater say on the issue.
The move follows calls for a Northern Ireland-style Parades Commission to reduce the number of marches in Glasgow and the west of Scotland.
Liberal Democrat MSP Donald Gorrie, who has supported efforts to stamp out sectarianism in Scotland, welcomed the plans.
He said: "The approach is absolutely correct. We can't ban marches which are a part of free speech, but I think we can regulate the number of sectarian marches, especially Orange marches, which are ridiculously high.
"It's not a question of free speech but of annoying the other side.
"The question of the route and the timing of marches are often important as to whether they are an expression of freedom of speech or aggravation of people going to Mass. …