Business School input into Bill to Reform Family Law

Report produced for the Scottish Parliament

Date posted

27 November 2019


A new report funded by and produced for the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee critically analyses the Children (Scotland) Bill 2019 to reform Scottish family law court cases. 

Scottish Parliament Logo

The report, written by Dr Lesley-Anne Barnes Macfarlane from Edinburgh Napier’s Business School, considers the extent to which the proposed legislation is likely to alter the balance of rights in family law court cases. The report is available here. The Children (Scotland) Bill 2019 is currently at Stage 1.

The report considers the various proposals in detail, including the:

  1. Removal of the presumption that children 12 years of age and older are sufficiently mature to express a view in family cases
  2. New duty to explain family court decisions to children
  3. New Statutory checklist of factors courts must take into account in family cases
  4. Creation of additional safeguards for victims of domestic abuse in family cases
  5. Greater regulation of professionals and professional services involved in family cases
  6. New duty to investigate the failure to obey a court order.  

Lesley-Anne and her colleague, Dr Richard Whitecross, are also running a series of workshops, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, critically analysing the work of the Scottish Parliament to date in the field of Child and Family Law. 

The workshops, which involve contributions from 21 academics from a range of Scottish Universities and law and policy-makers, conclude later this month.

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