‘Scots system is fine but can improve’

The children’s hearing system in Scotland is
“fundamentally sound”, according to a recent review.

But it urges the Scottish Children’s Reporter Association
and the Scottish executive to take steps to ensure that the system,
which deals with offending children and children in need of care,
“moves with the times”.

The review, carried out by Scottish Committee of the Council on
Tribunals, recommends that children’s reporters improve the
way they communicate with children and that hearings be held in
more family-friendly accommodation. It also says discussion is
needed to determine the role of the children’s reporter
following the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Cathy Jamieson, minister for young people, accepted that there
was room for improvement, but insisted the executive was working to
address the problem. She said: “Young people who come before a
hearing often have complex and troubled lives. They may be in need
of care or may have committed an offence and need to face up to the
consequences of their actions.”

Scottish Committee’s Special Report on
Children’s Hearings
is at www.council-on-tribunals.gov.uk/

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