Presentation on theme: "Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 DUE TO COME INTO FORCE 24 JUNE 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 DUE TO COME INTO FORCE 24 JUNE 2013
Sara Matheson MTM SPECIALIST FAMILY LAWYERS
Many small and large changes. Large changes include the explicit provision that the Reporter is no longer to be legal advisor to the Panel and establishing the National Convenor who may provide legal advice- Bernadette is to discuss this. I will focus on what I consider are to be the most fundamental changes for those in practice.
New Grounds – s.67(2) c – Child has or is likely to have a close connection with a person who has committed a schedule 1 offence f – the child has or is likely to have a close connection with a person who has carried out domestic abuse
A change in emphasis 1995 Act "member of the same household" 2011 Act "having a close connection" defined in section 67(3) as being - a member of the same household or - not a member of the same household but the child has a significant contact with the person
More new grounds h and i- the child in care by virtue of s25 and special measures are needed to support the child/ a permanence order is in force and special measures are needed to support the child m – the child’s conduct has had or is likely to have a serious adverse effect on the health safety or development of the child or another relevant person p – the child is being or is likely to be subjected to physical emotional or other pressure to enter into a marriage or civil partnership; or is or is likely to become a member of the same household as such a child
The "all new" pre-hearing panel section 79 1995 Act Business meetings only convened by Reporter any views given to the Reporter by relevant person were presented by him to the meeting relevant person (or not!) couldn't attend very difficult to configure an appeal 2011 Act Pre-hearing panel can be requested by relevant person, child or "individual in question" section 81(3) "The pre-hearing panel must deem the individual to be a relevant person if it considers that the individual has (or has recently had) a significant involvement in the upbringing of the child Appeal against such a decision if lodged before the expiry of 7 days (Panel being day 1) and to be disposed of within 3 days
Other matters for the PHP Whether to excuse child Whether to excuse a relevant person Whether hearing likely to make a CSO with secure authorisation Other matters can be added by Rules Can appoint a safeguarder
Safeguarders National Safeguarder Panel Ministers responsible for establishing and maintaining Contracted to Children 1 st Supports consistent national approach to remuneration, training and operation What of Curators?
Legal Reps Legal Representative scheme abolished Replaced by payment to solicitors by SLAB Criteria will apply Duty scheme for children at custody and 2wd (CPO) hearings, and where secure accommodation in issue Support for individuals Code of Conduct for solicitors
Increased emphasis on the views of the child Specific duty on Chair and Sheriff to consider these, section 27 Expectation the rules being developed will reinforce this Hearing chair duty to inform child of availability of children’s advocacy services s.122 Advocacy provision being developed by SG
Wee Things you might want to know Supervision requirements out Place of safety warrants out Started under 1995 Act Started under 2011 A c t Compulsory Supervision orders in Interim compulsory supervision orders in Likely to finish under 1995 Act Likely to finish under 2011 Act
More Wee Things -Previously CPO to be intimated "forthwith". Now to be intimated "as soon as practicable" -In family actions a court may still refer to the Reporter but now require to make a "section 62" statement -Lord Advocate can direct the provision of evidence to the Reporter section 63 -removal of requirement for young children to attend and better framing of circumstances in which child can be excused or excluded -IMPORTANT- where a person would not be capable of understanding an explanation of the ground then the case need not be referred by the hearing to the Sheriff, section 94 -Parenting orders -introduces safeguards in relation to questioning in cases involving sexual behaviour
Yet More Wee Things APPEALS Broadly similar (remember though PHPs) Also new appeal to Sheriff against a hearing decision that affects a contact or permanence order This appeal is for the person who had the contact order and must be made within 21 days of the decision and must be heard within 3 days
Last But Not Least Part 19 of the Act deals with Legal Aid - Application will now be made to SLAB - Contributions will now apply - Contracting with firms - Contributions to be recovered by firms