Children's hearings training resource manual: volume 1

Volume 1 contains the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and new rules regarding legislation and procedures.

2 Disposals open to the Sheriff

Listed below are some of the disposals open to a sheriff.

Remit to a children's hearing for disposal

This power can be exercised by the sheriff whenever a young person pleads guilty to an offence or is convicted of an offence in court. The effect of this disposal is that the sheriff's involvement with the young person for the conviction is at an end and young person will be sent to a children's hearing who are empowered to make any decision open to them. Alternatively the sheriff can call for the advice of a hearing before making this disposal.

Absolute discharge

This counts as a conviction and will be disclosed on disclosure certificates.


Admonition is a finding of guilt, even though there may be no sentence or fine imposed. It is an official court disposal and will be disclosed.

Defer sentence

The sheriff may 'defer' the sentence for a period of time for the offender to prove that he or she can be of good behaviour. Conditions may be imposed. At the period of the deferred sentence, the offender returns to court and the court has the same sentencing powers as they would have had initially but will take into consideration the how well the offender has behaved since the last calling.

Community Payback Orders

One of a number of community based orders open to the sheriff. It would consist of a number of requirements and will be tailored to allow the offender to pay back a debt to the wider community with the ultimate aim of preventing future crime.


A monetary penalty imposed by the court. Fining of children is rare and it should be noted that parents cannot be fined for their children's misdemeanours.

Caution (for good conduct)

Pronounced as 'kayshun'. The lodging of a sum of money which is to be repaid after a set period of time if no further offences have been committed. This is very rare in relation to children. Parents cannot be made to find caution for their children.


The court may make an order requiring the offender to compensate the victim of the crime. A disposal rarely used in relation to children. Parents cannot be ordered to pay compensation on behalf of their child.


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