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Voice of the Child under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995: giving due regard to children's views in all matters that affect them. Volume 1 - mapping paper

Marshall, Kathleen and Cleland, Alison and Kay, E. and Tisdall, M. and Plumtree, A. (2002) Voice of the Child under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995: giving due regard to children's views in all matters that affect them. Volume 1 - mapping paper. The Scottish Executive Central Research Unit. ISBN 075593346X

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Abstract

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 brings together aspects of family, child care and adoption law that affect children. The Act deliberately seeks to incorporate the 3 key principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - i.e. non-discrimination (Article 2); a child's welfare as a primary consideration (Article 3); and listening to children's views (Article 12) - into Scottish legislation and practice. This 'mapping paper' undertakes a detailed analysis of the Act, and accompanying regulations and guidance, asking the following questions: In relation to which decisions do the views of children need to be sought? Which children are included in any such requirements? What processes are specified for ascertaining children's views? What weight is given to the child's views? Is provision made for feedback to the child? Relevant reported case law is considered. The mapping paper is part of a feasibility study, funded by the Scottish Executive. The feasibility study sought to examine how best to conceptualise and evaluate how decision-making in children's lives takes due account of their views, with particular attention to processes related to Part I of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the implications for compliance with the UNCRC. A second volume reports on the feasibility study itself, including literature reviews on relevant research and methodology.