If you are participating in a virtual Hearing, your rights are exactly the same as if you were attending a Children’s Hearing in person. You have some very important rights in your Hearing.
You have the right to:
- To give your views to the Panel Members – and have them taken into account.
- To provide information that you want the Hearing to consider.
- If you are able to understand it, you have the right to be given all the information that the Hearing has.
- You can have someone attend to help you discuss things in your Hearing. This can be anyone you choose – for example, a friend, relative, or any trusted person who you feel will support you.
- You can have a lawyer (solicitor) in the Hearing as well if you wish.
- To have the number of people attending the Hearing (at the same time) to be kept to as few as possible.
- To appeal against the decision made by the Hearing within 42 days from the date of the Hearing (only under the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 as it is usually 21 days.)
- To request another Hearing which can take place 3 months after your last Hearing (if your Hearing made or kept a Compulsory Supervision Order in place).
In your virtual Hearing you can also:
- Ask the Hearing to stop for a while if you would like to take a break;
- Ask the Hearing to stop until another day (sometimes called ‘continuing the Hearing’) if you feel that the Hearing should not make a decision yet (for example, if you need to get more information to give the Panel Members);
- Ask to speak to Panel Members on your own, or only with someone you want to be there with you, for part of the Hearing.
The Hearing will decide whether to agree to any of these things. The Panel Members will need to take in to account whether what you ask for is manageable in a virtual Hearing.
Want more information about your rights?
You can speak to your Children’s Reporter. Their contact details will be on the letter sent to you about your virtual Hearing.
You can find a list of Legal Representatives in your area here
You can find a list of all the Advocacy organisations in your area here
Your rights are protected under law, which means no one can take your rights away from you.