Children's rights in children's hearings: the impact of Covid-19

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The Scottish Children’s Hearings System makes life-changing decisions regarding the care and protection of children up to 18 years of age referred due to a need for support – because of offending behaviour or a risk to their physical or emotional safety. In March 2020, due to the Covid-19 crisis, Hearings underwent one of the most significant changes since their inception - using an online conferencing platform (‘virtual hearings’),.
Due to restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, between the 23rd of March and 10th July 2020 no face-to-face Children’s Hearings took place.
Initially, only Hearings required for the urgent and immediate protection of a child were convened, and these were attended only by reporters and panel members. These Hearings were not attended by other individuals and agencies who would typically be present, such as the child or young person, parents, family, and social work or other agencies. Legislation also modified some procedural elements of Hearings: including gender balance and number of hearings, and removing the obligation for children, yp, and relevant persons to attend.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
EventCovid 19 and Children’s Rights Research - Virtual
Duration: 1 Dec 20201 Dec 2020


ConferenceCovid 19 and Children’s Rights Research
Internet address


  • childrens rights
  • childrens hearings
  • Covid 19


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