Scottish Child Law Centre Student Advocacy Project
Scots law assumes that a child over the age of 12 has sufficient capacity to decide whether they wish to express a view in children’s hearings or in court actions which affect them. In exercising their right to express that view, many children face a number of challenges which, without support and guidance, might deter them from making their views known.
The Student Advocacy Project was established by the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with the Scottish Child Law Centre, to support children who are the subject of a court action or a children’s hearing. The aims of the Project are to:
* ensure that children caught within either system understand the processes and the issues involved
* support the children in forming and expressing a view, if that is what they wish to do
* ensure the children understand what happens when a decision is made
* assist the children with finding appropriate, independent advice, if necessary
Suitable cases will be referred by the Scottish Child Law Centre to the University’s Pro Bono Coordinator, Rebecca Samaras, and appointments will be arranged for children to meet with trained student advocates, all under the supervision of volunteer child and family law solicitors and University staff.