After section 17

Part of Family Law (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:45 pm on 15th December 2005.

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Photo of Pauline McNeill Pauline McNeill Labour 3:45 pm, 15th December 2005

As I indicated earlier, I will not press my amendment, for the reasons that I gave.

On Marlyn Glen's point, I recognise that the court needs time in which to make important decisions. However, it should not cost an ordinary citizen the sale of their house to go to court to argue for contact with their children.

I welcome what has been said about research, which is important because we must have the facts. I acknowledge that a lot of work needs to be done, but I think that the announcement that there will be at least a couple of pilot schemes marks a significant and welcome shift in the Executive's position. I urge the minister to conduct one pilot in a large city and one in a rural area—I am sure that that would have been considered in any case.

I seek leave to withdraw amendment 42.