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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13612: Kezia Dugdale (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 21 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to establish a safe contact provision for children who have a parent or guardian who has been convicted of domestic abuse.

Answered by: Annabelle Ewing 16 January 2018

The Scottish Government plans to launch a consultation in spring 2018 on the review of part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. This consultation will cover issues in relation to parental responsibilities and rights, child contact and residence, alongside a wider Family Justice Modernisation Strategy. The consultation will take full account of issues being raised about contact and domestic abuse.

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and the then Minister for Childcare and Early Years wrote to the Justice Committee in June 2017 to help inform the Committee’s scrutiny of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill. The letter is at http://www.parliament.scot/S5_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/20170608CSfJandMfCEYtoMM.pdf.

In that letter, the Scottish Government acknowledged the need to review the links between the civil and criminal justice systems in the context of domestic abuse. The Scottish Government also intends to consider whether any changes are needed to exclusion orders, which can exclude a perpetrator of domestic abuse from the family home.