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Good Practice Guidance - Implementation of Secure Accommodation Authorisation (Scotland) Regulations 2013

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Section 4: Appeals

A child or a relevant person in respect of the child has the right to appeal to the sheriff under section 162 of the 2011 Act against a decision either to implement a secure authorisation, not to implement a secure authorisation or to remove a child from secure accommodation. This appeal may be made jointly by the child and one or more relevant persons in relation to the child or by two or more relevant persons in relation to the child. Section 162 (6) specifies that these appeals must not be held in open court.

Regulations 11-14 outline the procedure for appeals.

4.1

Reg 11 (2)(a)

Appeals to a sheriff against the decision of a chief social work officer must be made within 21 days of the decision being made. Information about this deadline for appeals should be shared with the child and the relevant person so that they are aware of the timescales involved.

4.2

Reg 11 (2)(b)

Once an appeal has been made the sheriff must hear and dispose of the appeal before the expiry of the period of 3 days beginning the day after the day on which the appeal is made.

4.3

Reg 11 (4)

The sheriff may hear evidence from the child, each relevant person in respect of the child, the chief social work officer, the head of the unit (i.e the person in charge of the residential establishment specified in the secure accommodation authorisation included in the relevant order or warrant made in respect of the child), the Principal Reporter and any other person who the sheriff considers may give additional material evidence before determining the appeal. If the chief social work officer has kept accurate records relating to the process of consultation, assessment and review then it should be easy to provide the sheriff with any evidence they require to inform their decision.

4.4

Reg 11 (5)

The sheriff may also require any other person to give a report for the purpose of assisting them in determining the appeal. This could include the lead officer or the social worker. All professionals involved with the child, and particularly those who have provided reports during the consultation and assessment process should be aware that the sheriff may request their report in the event of an appeal.

4.5

Reg 12

If a sheriff is satisfied that the decision of a chief social work officer to implement a secure accommodation authorisation is justified the sheriff must confirm the decision.

In any other case the sheriff may take one or both of the following steps:-

(a) make an order directing the chief social work officer to remove the child from secure accommodation;

(b) make an order requiring the Principal Reporter to arrange a children's hearing for any purpose for which a hearing may be arranged under the 2011 Act.