Appendix 4 Scottish Children's Reporter Administration ( SCRA): Papers for Children
New powers come into place in terms of the provision of papers (or otherwise) for children on 24 June 2013.
Rule 18 of The Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (Rules of Procedure in Children's Hearings) Rules 2013 provides the following:-
Notification and provision of information to a young child
18.-(1) This rule applies where, under the Act or these Rules, the Reporter must-
(a) notify a child of the date, time and place of a children's hearing or pre-hearing panel to be held in relation to that child or
(b) provide a child with any information, confirmation, report or any document in relation to a children's hearing or pre-hearing panel.
(2) The Reporter need not notify the child or provide the information, confirmation, report or other document where taking account of the child's age and maturity, the child would not be capable of understanding the notification, information, confirmation, report or other document.
This means the Reporter has a discretionary power in terms of
- Notification of the children's hearing to the child
- Providing the child with paperwork in relation to the hearing
This discretionary power is based on the age and maturity of the child and the child's ability to understand the information.
This in practice may mean that a child gets all the information, some of the information or no information. For example a child might be able to understand the notification to attend a children's hearing but not the actual hearing papers.
Additionally, if a child is able to understand information relative to their hearing and would in the normal course of events receive information, documents or reports from the reporter about their hearing, that information may still be subject to a non-disclosure request if it is likely to cause significant harm to the child. For more information about non-disclosure see Section 9 of the Legislation and Procedure manual.
Further details about how this will be dealt with in practice by reporters will be available at a later date.