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Family Justice Modernisation Strategy

Family Justice Modernisation Strategy

The Government is preparing a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy.  The strategy will address issues such as delays and the way the voice of the child is heard.

The strategy is a wide ranging piece of work, covering both private cases, such as disputes between parents, and public cases, such as those where the local authority or children’s panel is involved in a child’s life.  It involves various bodies across the legal system, including the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the Family Law Committee of the Scottish Civil Justice Council.

We held a summit on 17 March 2016 to help inform the Strategy.  We have published the responses from the summit.

The Scottish Government has initiated two significant pieces of work on the strategy – one on the voice of the child in family cases, and one on case management in family actions.  We have tabled policy papers on these topics at meetings of the Family Law Committee of the Scottish Civil Justice Council.  The Committee is now taking these pieces of work forward.

We aim to publish this summer a note of the various pieces of work underway to improve how family actions are dealt with by the courts.  We hope to publish a draft of the strategy for consultation early next year, alongside the consultation on our review of Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.  We will publish a final version of the strategy after taking into account the comments we receive on the draft.