Publication - Strategy/plan

Family Justice Modernisation Strategy

Published: 3 Sep 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Law and order
ISBN:
9781839601149

Sets out our work to improve the family justice system in Scotland.

Family Justice Modernisation Strategy
Annex A: Actions not in Children (Scotland) Bill

Annex A: Actions not in Children (Scotland) Bill

Number Topic Paragraph Action

1

Views of the child

2.24

Further consideration of whether child support workers could be introduced in cases under section 11 of the 1995 Act.

2

Views of the child

2.29

The Scottish Government will produce a policy paper for the Family Law Committee in 2020 on implications of the Bill for court rules.

3

Contact

3.18

Continued engagement with Relationships Scotland and independent contact centres both in the lead-up to regulation and in relation to regulation.

4

Contact

3.19

Write to the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates in 2020 to seek their views on issuing guidance encouraging lawyers when referring clients to a contact centre to refer them to a regulated centre.

5

Contact

3.22

Continued promotion of the Charter for Grandchildren.

6

Protecting victims of domestic abuse

4.26

Propose making regulations under section 102 of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, after consultation with the Lord President, in relation to vexatious behaviour in cases under section 11 of the 1995 Act.

7

Protecting victims of domestic abuse

4.27

Submit paper to the next meeting of the Family Law Committee of the Scottish Civil Justice Council covering domestic abuse.

8

Protecting victims of domestic abuse

4.31

Prepare a general discussion paper for key stakeholders on improving interaction between criminal and civil courts.

9

Protecting victims of domestic abuse

4.37

Publish responses and analysis of consultation on protective orders for people at risk of domestic abuse by Autumn 2019.

10

Protecting victims of domestic abuse

4.41

Produce further guidance on exclusion orders.

Number Topic Paragraph Action

11

Protecting victims of domestic abuse

4.35

Develop bespoke, on-line, trauma-informed training resource for solicitors and other key legal professionals.

12

Parental responsibilities and rights

5.28

Consult on draft guidance which will support the involvement of non-resident parents in education decisions during the 2019/20 academic year.

13

Parental responsibilities and rights

5.33

Consider ways to promote the good practice that exists in many areas of Scotland in relation to the pupil enrolment form and remove unnecessary barriers to the recording of the contact details of both parents. Engage with the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland and SEEMiS Group re the piloting of new software which will allow each parent to link to their child within the SEEMiS portal.

14

Parental responsibilities and rights

5.34

Work with health professionals to ensure that non-resident parents are involved in health decisions in relation to their child where this is in the best interests of the child and a child with capacity consents. In particular Scottish Government will draw attention to relevant guidance.

15

Court procedure

6.18

Issue guidance to family law practitioners reiterating that the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration in cases under section 11 of the 1995 Act when disclosing confidential information.

16

Court procedure

6.21

Issue guidance in 2020 for children and adults about what it is like to attend court.

17

Court procedure

6.23

Consultation on proposals to extend the simplified divorce and dissolution procedures to cases where the spouses or civil partners have agreed about the upbringing of any children in the family under 16 years of age.

18

Court procedure

6.24

The Scottish Government proposes to prepare a policy paper for the Family Law Committee on the use of plain English in the family courts, including the language used in interlocutors.

Number Topic Paragraph Action

19

Alternatives to court

7.19

Issue guidance for individuals on alternatives to court.

20

Alternatives to court

7.20

Produce a policy paper for the Family Law Committee on the implications of extending Ordinary Cause Rule 33.[22] in relation to mediation to all family and civil partnership actions (see action 7 above).

21

Alternatives to court

7.21

Respond to the proposals by the Expert Group on Mediation.

22

Alternatives to court

7.22

Consider making regulations under section 1(2)(e) of the Civil Evidence (Family Mediation) (Scotland) Act 1995 to clarify that confidentiality of mediation extends to international child abduction cases.

23

Minutes of agreement

7.23

The Scottish Government will write to the Law Society of Scotland and the Family Law Association to suggest that templates for minutes of agreement drawn up by parents which affect a child’s rights should record what steps the parents have taken to obtain the child’s views.

24

Birth registration processes

8.18

The Registrar General will make regulations amending the form used to apply for a child’s name to be changed to require the individual with PRRs to tick a box saying that they have sought and taken into account the views of the child.

25

Birth registration processes

8.21

Further consideration of allowing a child with capacity to apply themselves to change their name on their birth certificate.

26

Birth registration processes

8.22

The Registrar General will make regulations amending the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Regulations 1965 to reflect that an informant may be an unmarried father with PRRs.

27

Birth registration processes

8.23

Consider making regulations adding a reference to a second female parent being married to the mother of a child as well as being in a civil partnership with the mother in section 20(1)(d) of the Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965.

Number Topic Paragraph Action

28

Prioritising sibling relationships for children in care

10.9

Introduce amendments to the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 to put a duty on local authorities to place siblings under 18 years of age together when they are looked after away from home, when it is in all of their best interests.

29

Prioritising sibling relationships for children in care

10.10

Issue guidance to encourage local authorities to exercise their corporate parenting responsibilities to maintain sibling relationships and share good practice across Scotland.

30

Prioritising sibling relationships for children in care

10.11

Consider further actions following the recommendations of the Independent Care Review.

31

Children’s Hearings

11.15

Introduce the necessary secondary legislation to amend the procedural rules to ensure the digital developments are managed appropriately.

32

Children’s Hearings

11.16

Ensure policies are in place to safeguard data protection, information security, information retention and confidentiality.

33

Children’s Hearings

11.17

Amend the procedural rules relating to Children’s Hearings to give the relevant local authority in a child’s case an entitlement to receive the reports shared with the hearing and parties, which includes reports by safeguarders and any other independent professionals

34

Civil Justice Statistics

Annex C

Develop strategies to report more detailed statistics from SCTS while maintaining statistical rigour and anonymity.

35

Civil Justice Statistics

Annex C

Continue to engage with a range of external agencies and service providers to determine the extent to which information these parties can provide is appropriate for inclusion in official statistics.

36

Research into family courts

Annex D

Further consider how best to promote existing research into family courts.


Contact

Email: family.law@gov.scot