Children's rights and the Scottish Children's Hearings system

Christine Hallett, Cathy Murray

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines children’s rights in the Children’s Hearings system. It draws on data from a study of the hearings system conducted between 1994 and 1997, and published in 1998 under the title Deciding in Children’s Interests (Hallett and Murray et al.).1 The study was conducted in three phases. Phase I comprised the observation of a sample of 60 children’s hearings and semi-structured follow up interviews with 98 participants from half of the observed hearings. Interviews were held with 20 family members (ten children and young people and ten parents) 30 children’s panel members, 28 social workers, 13 reporters to the children’s panel and seven teachers. In Phase II of the study 54 reporters to the children’s panel were interviewed about aspects of decision making in the system. Phase III explored the interface between the Children’s Hearings system and other key agencies in the children’s welfare/justice arenas through interviews with 34 key informants drawn from social work departments, education departments, the police, sheriffs (judges) and procurators fiscal (independent prosecutors) and the area chairs of the lay children’s panels.2 Data from the sample of observed hearings and from interviews in all three phases of the study are presented below, with reference to children’s rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Rights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


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