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Entries in Justice Commitee (1)

Monday
Mar212016

Justice Committee supports Scottish Family Law reform

The Scottish Parliament Justice Committee has reported on its recent scrutiny of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 – passing to its successor a strong case for a broad review of Scottish Family Law.

The committee invited written evidence from a range of legal academics and interested organisations, including Families Need Fathers Scotland, and held two oral evidence sessions.  Ian Maxwell of FNF Scotland took part in the second session.  Issues discussed included parental rights for unmarried fathers with children born before May 2006 and the requirement for a judge to take into account allegations of domestic abuse – or the prospect of domestic abuse – when determining the best interests if the child.

The Committee acknowledges that its scrutiny exercise was a rapid exploration of the effect and effectiveness of the Act but that the views that had been submitted to it had spilled over into a broader consideration of the state of Scotland's family law.

In effect, the Committee says, “It is a report to our successors on the next justice committee, setting out views on which aspects of family law covered in the 2006 Act they may wish to consider in more depth in the next session.”

Ian Maxwell, National Manager of FNF Scotland, said, “We are very grateful to the committee for undertaking this short, sharp exercise. The committee acknowledges that its conclusions are therefore more in the nature of observations than recommendations. However, we feel in time it may be recognised as an important milestone in the modernisation of family law in Scotland by opening up a range of fundamental issues for its successor to explore."

"It will give them the opportunity to take in new insights into family life as it is lived across Scotland, allowing the debate to move on from present entrenched positions. We hope that this will result in legislation that seeks solutions to problems that arise when parent separate that promote parenting rather than control it.”