I want the
provisions in this Bill to start making a difference to children’s lives as
quickly as possible. I therefore intend to stop the use of the offence ground
for referrals of children under 12 to the Children’s Hearings system by Autumn
2019. From this time, no child under 12 will be treated as an offender. This
timescale also allows for the needs and interests of victims to be taken into
account and provide for preparation and implementation of the measures at
section 22 of the Bill so that victims can receive appropriate information.
seeks to deliver profound and significant cultural change and it is essential
to get it right. Implementation of the Bill’s provisions, many of which are
radical and innovative, must proceed in a way which is safe, responsible and
which holds public confidence.
disclosure, work will begin this summer to prepare the guidance required and
appropriate supporting material. Careful consideration will be required as we
move to introduce the new concept of an independent reviewer into this area and
recruit and appoint someone to this role. I intend that this part of the Bill
will be implemented within 12 months of Royal Assent.
In order to
implement other key parts of the Bill, secondary legislation will need to be
drafted and passed by Parliament, adhering to the required timescales; guidance
will be developed in a collaborative and responsive way, consulted on and
potentially revised before publication; and training materials and activity
will be undertaken. Discussions are underway with key partner agencies to
develop an appropriate timescale. There will also be a need for liaison with
the UK Government to arrange for section 104 order to cover certain matters and
timescales for that will be determined by their legislative priorities also.
determined that we move to full implementation of all the Bill’s measures as
quickly as possible but that must also be done safely and responsibly and in a
way which gives children and young people, as well as victims and communities,
and professionals and agencies confidence that they have the knowledge and
tools with which to make these radical changes to our approach to addressing
the needs of children and young people. I intend to monitor progress in
relation to implementation closely and will also update Parliament at