College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Research helps improve family justice

Edinburgh and Stirling researchers are working together to help improve understanding of the barriers to children’s views being heard in family law cases.

The project will identify the challenges and explore the implications for children’s rights where the child’s voice is not heard in family actions.

Scottish context

Researchers will also consider how the approaches of other countries could be translated into a Scottish context.

Scots law provides children with the right to be involved in decisions when their parents separate, such as about which parent they will live with, as well as their relationship with the other parent. However, actual practice may vary.

Collaborative project

The research is a collaboration between the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection at the University of Stirling, the Centre for Research for Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh and Clan Childlaw – a legal and advocacy service for children and young people.

The project is being funded by the Scottish Government and coincides with its review of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

The findings of the project, will be used to shape the future of family law in Scotland, and how courts deal with cases involving children.

It is important that we address the barriers to children’s involvement in family law cases and findings from this research will inform next steps following our consultation on a review of family law in Scotland.

Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing

‘Children’s Participation in Family Actions: Probing compliance with children’s human rights’ is a collaborative project between Dr Fiona Morrison, University of Stirling; Professor Kay Tisdall, Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh; and Clan Childlaw.

Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection

The Centre for Research for Families and Relationships

 Clan Childlaw

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