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Consultation on review of Part 1 - Children (Scotland) Act 1995 15/05/2018 The role of the courts in cases involving children of separated parents and the law around parental responsibilities and rights will be considered as part of a consultation on key themes to be included in a family justice modernisation strategy.

Consultation on review of Part 1 - Children (Scotland) Act 1995

The role of the courts in cases involving children of separated parents and the law around parental responsibilities and rights will be considered as part of a consultation on key themes to be included in a family justice modernisation strategy.

The Scottish Government is seeking the public’s views on issues including:

  • How the court obtains the views of the child in family cases;
  • Protection of victims of domestic abuse and their children during family court proceedings;
  • Regulation of child contact centres and of child welfare reporters who advise sheriffs and judges in family court cases;
  • How children can maintain relationships with key adults in their lives;
  • Alternatives to court such as family mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution; and
  • Aspects of the Children’s Hearing’s system, which aims to ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people.

The consultation will also ask for opinions about changes to the law to prevent direct cross-examination of victims of domestic abuse by their alleged abusers in child contact cases before the civil courts.

“We know that family breakdown can be very upsetting for children and it is our responsibility to ensure that the family justice system is supportive and does not contribute to their distress. That means putting the best interests of the child first in every case and feedback from this consultation will help us to identify where changes are needed,” said Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing. “The often sensitive issues involved can give rise to competing viewpoints, and that is why we are looking for as wide a range of responses as possible to help shape the future of family law in Scotland.”

The consultation is available here.
 

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