Family Justice Modernisation Strategy

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

Annex D: Research on family law

1. The Scottish Government launched a call for research proposals on people’s experiences of the justice system in Scotland in autumn 2017. Two projects were funded that will add to the Scottish Government’s evidence and understanding of how families and children experience the criminal and civil justice systems. The first research is due to report later in 2019. The second research is likely to report in 2020.

2. ‘Children’s Participation in Family Actions: Probing Compliance with Children’s Human Rights’. This project is looking at the current position of children’s participation in family actions and draw on empirical evidence from other jurisdictions internationally where improvements have been adopted. (Lead – Dr Fiona Morrison, University of Stirling).

3. ‘Domestic abuse and child contact: the interface between criminal and civil justice’. This project is examining the interrelationship between the investigation and prosecution of domestic abuse in criminal justice and parallel child contact proceeding through civil justice processes, and produce recommendations concerning possible measures to encourage and support a closer articulation. (Lead – Professor Jane Mair, University of Glasgow).

4. Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services have conducted an international evidence review exploring the effectiveness of Integrated Domestic Abuse Courts (IDACs) that use a system of ‘one family, one judge’: ‘Evidence on the Effectiveness of Integrated Domestic Abuse Courts’.

5. This paper presents the findings from the small scale research project on IDACs that was carried out. This research reviews the evidence of this approach to improving engagement between civil and criminal justice processes in the context of domestic abuse. This paper will shortly be published.

6. The Scottish Government will consider further how best to promote existing research on family law.



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