Children (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 27th May 2020.

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Photo of Ash Denham Ash Denham Scottish National Party

Of course I will. The bill says that we will appoint a body to oversee regulation of contact centres. That deals with Jamie Greene’s point.

I am sympathetic to the arguments on confidentiality that Liam Kerr and others made. As members would acknowledge, that involves the need to balance competing rights. That said, I am considering lodging an amendment at stage 2 so that, in cases under section 11 of the 1995 act, in which the court is considering whether to disclose confidential documents, the welfare of the child who provided the documents would be a primary consideration.

Margaret Mitchell raised the timing of the Government’s response to the Care Inspectorate’s feasibility study. I will endeavour to prepare a detailed response to the Justice Committee in advance of stage 2. However, I point out that in order to do so we are having to work with the Care Inspectorate, which of course is currently very taken up with the response to Covid-19. If there is further delay in the response process, I will let the committee know forthwith.

Grandparents’ rights came up repeatedly, from members across the chamber.