Review of Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and creation of a family justice modernisation strategy

Closed 28 Sep 2018

Opened 15 May 2018

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The 1995 Act is centred on the needs of children and their families. It defines parental responsibilities and rights in relation to children. It sets out the duties and powers available to public authorities to support children and their families and to intervene when the child's welfare requires it.

This consultation seeks views on reforming part 1 of the 1995 Act which covers parental responsibilities and rights and on creating a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy. It also seeks your views on other matters related to family law, such as aspects of the Children’s Hearings System.

Why your views matter

The Programme for Government 2017-2018 set out the Scottish Government's commitment to consult on reforms to the 1995 Act and also to create a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy.

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. We will consider the views expressed in response to this consultation along with other available evidence to help inform the Scottish Government’s decisions.

Download the consultation paper.

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us.

The Scottish Government has introduced the Children (Scotland) Bill into the Scottish Parliament. 

The Bill covers a range of areas. The key areas of the Bill are:

  • Establishing registers of Child Welfare Reporters and curators ad litem;
  • Encouraging the views of younger children to be heard by decision makers;
  • Protecting victims of domestic abuse by prohibiting person conduct of a case in certain circumstances and authorising special measures to be used in family court cases; and
  • Promoting contact between looked after children and their siblings.


The Scottish Government recognises that primary legislation is only part of the action necessary to improve the operation of family justice. The Scottish Government published a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy at the same time as the Children (Scotland) Bill.

 The Family Justice Modernisation Strategy sets out ongoing work by the Scottish Government and others; work that can be done by secondary legislation or improved guidance; areas covered by the Bill; and areas that are for longer term work. The key areas covered by the Family Justice Modernisation Strategy are:

  • Guidance for parties and children on attending court;
  • Further work to protect victims of domestic abuse;
  • Further work to ensure, where it is safe for the child and resident parent, that non-resident parents are involved in their child’s learning;
  • Longer term work in relation to allowing a child with capacity to apply to record a change of name; and
  • Prioritisation of sibling relationships for children in care.






  • Children and Families
  • Law and Order