Date lodged: 5 October 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on trialling a so-called one-sheriff system across civil and criminal proceedings with regard to domestic abuse, and what its position is on whether such a system could lead to survivors being spared unnecessary trauma.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 31 October 2017
Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, as amended, requires that courts should have regard to domestic abuse when considering civil court orders relating to parental responsibilities and rights. The Scottish Government is reviewing part 1 of the 1995 Act and preparing a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy and will carry out a public consultation on this next year.
This consultation will cover issues in relation to domestic abuse, including, for example, options to prevent direct cross-examination of victims of domestic abuse by their alleged abusers in child contact cases before the civil courts. We will engage with the courts and others on issues arising from the consultation responses.