Children (Scotland) Act 2020 - registers of child welfare reporters, curators ad litem and solicitors: consultation

This consultation focuses on the register of child welfare reporters, the register of curators ad litem in cases under section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the register of solicitors appointed where a person has been prohibited from personally conducting a case themselves.

Glossary of Terms used in this consultation.

Note: On-line access to legislation is available at[1]

"1995 Act" – The Children (Scotland) Act 1995

"2020 Act" – The Children (Scotland) Act 2020

"body appointed to operate and manage the register" – Any reference to a body appointed to operate and manage the register includes the Scottish Government (if it decides to do the work in-house) or an external contractor appointed by the Scottish Government.

"Child Welfare Hearing" – When a dispute reaches court and a section 11 order is sought a Child Welfare Hearing will take place. Child Welfare Hearings are usually held in private with both parties being present. They are intended to allow the sheriff to speak to the parties directly, identify the issues and establish how the issues are to be dealt with. Child Welfare Hearings are generally informal procedures.

"Child welfare reporter" – formerly called "bar reporters". They are court appointed individuals who prepare reports on the best interests of the child.

"Children (Scotland) Bill" – the Children (Scotland) Act 2020 was called the Children (Scotland) Bill when it was being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

"Curator ad litem" – an officer of the court who is appointed to represent and protect the interests of an individual lacking full capacity, including a child.

"Family law" – covers a wide range of areas including divorce and dissolution, parental responsibilities and rights, contact and residence, and permanence and adoption cases.

"Family Law Unit" – a team within the Scottish Government who are responsible for policy in relation to private family law including divorce and dissolution, parental responsibilities and rights and contact and residence cases.

"FLC" – the Family Law Committee of the Scottish Civil Justice Council[2]. Its role is to keep the relevant civil court rules under review, consider and make proposals for modification and reform, require that family actions and proceedings are dealt with as efficiently as possible, review, develop and promote a case management structure for family actions and to report to the Scottish Civil Justice Council with its recommendations and, where applicable, draft rules of court.

"Legal Aid" – publicly funded legal assistance allowing individuals to pursue or defend their rights, or pay for their defence, when they could not otherwise afford to do so. When someone applies for legal aid, their application is subject to statutory tests which cover the merits of the case and the means available to the applicant.

"Lord President" – the most senior judge in Scotland and the head of the judiciary.

"party litigant" – person who represents themselves in court.

"PRRs" – parental responsibilities and parental rights with the meanings given to those terms in sections 1 and 2 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

"SCJC" – the Scottish Civil Justice Council[3] prepares draft rules of procedure for the civil courts in Scotland and advises the Lord President on the development of the civil justice system in Scotland.

"SCTS" – the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service is an independent body providing administrative support to Scottish courts and tribunals and to the judiciary.

"Section 11 order" – an order made by either the Court of Session or the Sheriff Court under section 11 of the 1995 Act in relation to parental responsibilities, parental rights, guardianship, or the administration of a child's property. Orders which relate to parental responsibilities or parental rights can say who a child should live with or spend time with.

"Sheriff" – a judge in the Sheriff Court. Sheriffs deal with the majority of civil (including family) and criminal cases in Scotland.

"Sheriff Principal" – the Sheriffs Principal head each of Scotland's six Sheriffdoms. They have responsibility for ensuring the efficient disposal of sheriff court business.

"Sheriffdom" - the geographic areas into which Scotland is divided for the administration of sheriff court business.

"SLAB" – the Scottish Legal Aid Board. Manages the legal aid system in Scotland.



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