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Scottish Government Proposes Changes to Family Law

The Scottish Government is seeking views on proposals to modernise the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

The 1995 Act is centred on the needs of children and their families. It defines parental responsibilities and rights in relation to children, and also sets out the duties and powers available to public authorities to support children and their families and to intervene when the child's welfare requires it.

A recently launched consultation seeks views on reforming Part 1 of the 1995 Act, which covers parental responsibilities and rights, and on creating a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy. It also seeks views on other matters related to family law, such as aspects of the Children’s Hearings System.

In particular, the consultation is asking for opinions on:

  • 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
  • Aspects of the Children’s Hearing’s system, which aims to ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children and young people

“In this Year of Young People I am particularly keen to hear the views and first-hand experiences of children and young people and we have produced child-friendly questions to encourage them to get involved,” said Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing.

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For expert legal advice on family law in Scotland then contact our specialist family solicitors today.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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