Raising the Age of Referral to the Children's Hearing System: CYCJ's response

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The Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ) has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation which sought views on increasing the age at which children can be referred to the Children’s Hearing System, for care, protection and offence grounds.

Key points:
CYCJ supports the move towards including 16 and 17 year old children within the Children’s Hearing System.
Adoption of this change will reflect Scotland’s progress towards a rights respecting nation.
The change to the age of referral will acknowledge that the 16 or 17 year old child is not always fully equipped to make the best decisions.
It could result in significant alterations to the way in which children are dealt with in court – and provide a far swifter response to offending behaviour than is available from court.
Making this change would contribute to harmonising the legislative framework relating to children of this age.
Panel members will grapple with a greater number of complex cases, with the added dimensions of addressing the role of agency and freewill that comes with being 16 or 17 years old.
CYCJ's response was authored by Ross Gibson. Please get in touch at ross.a.gibson@strath.ac.uk if you wish to discuss.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2020


  • early intervention
  • MACR
  • youth to adult justice
  • adverse childhood experiences
  • policy
  • legislation
  • children's hearing system


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