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1. I have met with my local MSP, Mr John Scott, to discuss my petition. I also contacted Ms Aileen Campbell, then Minister for Children, to see if there is any intention to update CWH. Her office emailed to say that verbatim recording of criminal cases in Scotland is currently very restricted and bound by legislation set out in section 93 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. There is no comparable section in relation to CWH.

2. I have also written under the auspices of Grandparents Apart UK to the Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) in January 2016 relating to the recording of what is discussed during CWH. (Also contained within my letter were issues around specialised Sheriffs, judicial training, case management and mental health issues, however these were for the Lord President and SCJC Family Law Committee to consider.)

I received a reply from the SCJC Secretariat advising that I contact the Scottish Government on recording discussions at CWH. The letter states:

• The recording of what is discussed at Child Welfare Hearings (CWH) is presently that there are no rules of court providing for a “verbatim” recording of these discussions. They state that recording of such hearings would require a policy decision by the Scottish Government

• Disclosure of personal data, Chapter 28, Rule 28.8 the Sheriff Court Ordinary Cause Rules makes a specific provision on confidentiality.

However, SCJC suggests I may seek an update from the Scottish Government on the current position regarding confidentiality.

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