Your rights

If you become involved in the Children’s Hearings System, or if you have to attend a Children’s Hearing, you have lots of rights.  

Your rights
in the Hearings

What are my rights ?

Your rights are protected under law by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011.

Some of these rights include:

  • The right to a fair Children’s Hearing.
  • The right to express yourself and your views, and to have your views taken into account.
  • The right for decisions about you to be made in the best interests of you.
  • The right to bring a representative, a lawyer, advocate or friend in to the Hearing with you.
  • The right to ask to speak to the Panel Members on your own or be seen separately from your parents and/or carers.
  • The right to ask for the Hearing to stop for a while so you can have a break to speak to your representative, like your advocate or lawyer.
  • The right to ask for the Hearing to be continued to another date if you need more information or time to prepare.
  • The right to appeal against the decision of the Children’s Hearing within 21 days from your Hearing.
  • The right to request another Hearing which can take place three months after your last Children’s Hearing.
  • The right to complain if you are not happy with how you have been treated.
Do you need more information?

If you would like more information, you can speak to your Children’s Reporter. Contact details for your local Reporter’s office is available on the SCRA website. You can also speak to a lawyer at any time (also known as a solicitor) who may be able to help you. Most children and young people don’t have to pay for this. You can speak to a Children’s Rights Officer if this service is provided in your area. Your local Social Work Department will be able to help you with this. Information about advocacy and how to get an advocate in your area, is available here.

Legal advice

If you would like to get legal advice, you can contact The Scottish Child Law Centre or on 0800 328 8970. You can also contact the Scottish Legal Aid Board  or on 0131 226 7061.  Almost all children and young people do not need to pay for this.

The European Convention on the Rights of the Child and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child apply to you. And finally, remember, you are always welcome to come and visit the Hearing centre before your Hearing.  To see your local Hearings centre, visit the SCRA website.

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