Journal Article

Ahead of the game or behind the times? The Scottish children's hearings system in international context

C Hallett

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 14, issue 1, pages 31-44
Published in print April 2000 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 2000 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/14.1.31
Ahead of the game or behind the times? The Scottish children's hearings system in international context

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The Scottish Children's Hearing System, established in 1971, has survived largely unchanged for almost thirty years. Despite wide-ranging reform of child welfare in the Children (Scotland) Act, 1995, the key features of the Children's Hearings System were preserved largely intact. This stability and continuity contrasts sharply with major changes in systems of juvenile justice and child welfare across the world in recent decades. This article reviews the main contours of these developments, including the shifting balance between justice and welfare; the separation of children and young people in need of care and protection from 'young offenders'; diversion, restructuring and neo-conservative crime control strategies and considers their significance for the Scottish Children's Hearings System. It draws on two recently published studies, Deciding in Children's Interests (Hallett and Murray et al., 1998) and The International Context: Trends in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare (Hallett and Hazel, 1998).

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Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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