Our Policy Development team aims to improve outcomes for children and young people by contributing to policy development in relation to the realisation of their rights across Scotland. We are uniquely placed to base our policy work on the evidence gathered from our direct legal representation of children and young people. We use our legal knowledge, skills and expertise to advance policy and its implementation.

We provide briefings, respond to government consultations and give expert written and oral evidence to parliamentary committees on issues which have implications for children and young people.

We work collaboratively with many other organisations and individuals on a range of child law issues and are always keen to hear from anyone who thinks they might want to work with us on a particular issue. If you would like to get in touch, please email our Head of Legal Policy, Katy Nisbet on katy.nisbet@clanchildlaw.org

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Children and young people's rights can only be secured through proper access to justice. Access to legal aid must be independent and confidential.
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Although the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced new care leavers' rights into law, many care leavers are not getting what they are entitled to and we have noticed many problems in the implementation of these rights and disparities between different local authority areas.
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The Children (Scotland) Act 2020 introduces important changes to how legal proceedings involving children are conducted and creates new duties in relation to brothers and sisters in care, something Clan Childlaw has called for for many years.
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Click here to find public consultation responses and evidence provided by our team to the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament
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The law on criminal records checks has recently changed in Scotland to better reflect the very different nature of childhood offending behaviour from adult offending. Once it takes effect, the new system will better protect a child's right to grow up and move on from past mistakes. We worked to influence new legislation.
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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, currently before Scottish Parliament, would 'fully and directly' bring the UNCRC into Scots law. The legislation would mean public authorities and the law must respect and protect UNCRC rights.
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The minimum age of criminal responsibility, currently 8 years old in Scotland, is to be raised to 12 under the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019
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It is essential that children and young people's privacy rights are protected when professionals share information under the Named Person scheme. We intervened in the Supreme Court 'Named Person' case to put forward the children's rights perspective.
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We have long called for the law to be changed to prioritise care experienced children and young people's sibling relationships and are delighted that these changes are now law