Equality Impact Assessment Record
|Title of policy/practice/ strategy/legislation etc.||Children (Scotland) Bill|
|Minister||Minister for Community Safety|
|Lead official||Hannah Frodsham|
|Officials involved in the EQIA||name||team|
Looked after Children unit;
Justice Analytical Services;
Children & Families Analytical Services;
Family Law Unit;
|Directorate: Division: Team|| Family Law Unit
Civil Law & Legal System Division
|Is this new policyor revision to an existing policy?||New legislation|
The overarching policy objectives of the Children (Scotland) Bill are to:
- ensure the views of the child are heard in contact and residence cases;
- further protect victims of domestic abuse and their children;
- ensure the best interests of the child are at the centre of contact and residence cases and Children's Hearings; and
- ensure further compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in family court cases.
The most relevant National Outcome is:
- We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential.
The effect of the Children (Scotland) Bill will be to further protect children and young people who are the subject of a contact or residence dispute or Children's Hearing. The Bill aims to help meet this National Outcome by ensuring our children grow up in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding and that children are not left worried or isolated. In addition, the Bill includes provisions ensuring the views of children are heard in contact and residence cases.
Who will it affect?
The Bill will affect a wide range of people including:
- children or young people involved in the life of the young person at the centre of a case under section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 or Children's Hearing;
- the child or young person at the centre of the court case or Children's Hearing;
- Child Welfare Reporters and curators ad litem;
- child contact centres in Scotland;
- the courts;
- family members of the individual attending court;
- individuals who are attending court to apply for an order under section 11 of the 1995 Act;
- lawyers who are acting for parties in family cases;
- local authorities who are ordered to produce a child welfare report by the court;
- parents, family members or other adults who are involved in a court case or Children's Hearing;
- Principal Reporter;
- Scottish Children's Reporter Administration;
- Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB); and
- siblings of a child looked after away from home.
What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?
The cost implications of some options considered, when identifying the best ways to meet the aims of the Bill, lead to them not being considered viable.
A number of the provisions in the Bill require amendments to court rules. Rules of court are made by Act of Sederunt and are a matter for the Lord President on behalf of the Court of Session and the Scottish Civil Justice Council. If the Lord President and the Scottish Civil Justice Council do not make the required amendments to the rules of court this may affect some of the provisions in the Bill.
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