Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Act 2024 receives Royal Assent

Posted on 10th Jun 2024
A young daughter sitting on her fathers lap as he reads her a book

SCRA has welcomed the news that the Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Act 2024 has received Royal Assent.

This landmark legislation enhances protections and support for children across Scotland.

Alistair Hogg, SCRA’s Head of Practice and Policy said: “The Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Act receiving Royal Assent is a hugely significant moment for children in Scotland.  We have spoken for many years about recognising anyone under 18 as a child, and enabling them to have access to the Children’s Hearings System.  The provisions that enable this have now become law, and we will now prepare for implementation in collaboration with all our partners.”

The Act contains a series of measures to improve children and young people’s experiences of the care and justice systems.  Very significantly it will allow all children (now clearly recognised as anyone under 18) to access the Children’s Hearings System if they require it.  Anyone under the age of 18 will be able to be referred to the Children’s Reporter for any ground of referral.

The change will also ensure children and young people are kept out of prison, ending the placement of under 18s in Young Offenders Institutions, with secure accommodation being the normal place of detention instead.

The Act also provides new reforms to support victims, including providing a clearer understanding of their right to request information from the Children’s Reporter and a new single point service for victims in the Children Hearings System.

The changes will also strengthen referral arrangements between courts and Children’s Hearings.

You can read the Act in full here.

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