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The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 49:


Page 119, line 12, after ("persons)") insert ("—(a)").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I should also like to speak to Amendments Nos. 50 to 54. These amendments will further amend the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 by introducing some of the new terminology used in the Bill. I commend the amendments to the House.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendments Nos. 50 to 54:


Page 119, line 22, at end insert ("; and
(b) in paragraph (b), for the words "in the care of" substitute "looked after by").
Page 119, line 27, at beginning insert (""for").
Page 119, line 44, leave out ("person in need") and insert ("relevant person for the purposes of section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968").
Page 119, line 49, leave out ("and").
Page 120, line 4, at end insert ("; and
(d) the existing provisions as so amended shall be subsection (1) of the section and at the end of the section there shall be added—
"(2A) In this Act as it applies in relation to Scotland, any reference to a child who is looked after by a local authority shall be construed in accordance with section 17(6) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.".").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 55:


Page 120, line 6, leave out from beginning to ("(interpretation)") in line 8 and insert:
(" . In section 41 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I spoke to this amendment when I moved Amendment No. 12. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 56:


Page 121, line 19, at end insert:

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("Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (c. 26)
. In section 61 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (exemption from secure tenant's right to purchase)—
(a) in subsection (4) (f) (iii), for the words "have left the care of" substitute "as children have been looked after by"; and
(b) after subsection (4) add—
"(4A) The reference in subsection (4) (f) (iii) above to children looked after by a local authority shall be construed in accordance with section 17(6) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.".").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, this is another simple consequential amendment to take account of the changes in terminology brought about by the Bill. It makes appropriate changes in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 57:


Page 121, line 23, at end insert:

("Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988 (c.32)

. In paragraph (a) of the definition of "civil proceedings" in section 9 of the Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988 (interpretation)—
(a) the words "under section 42 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968" shall cease to have effect;
(b) after the word "application" where it first occurs insert "under section 64(6) or (8) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995";
(c) after the word "established," insert "or of an application for a review of such a finding under section 84 of that Act";
(d) after the word "application" where it occurs for the second time insert "or, as the case may be, the review"; and
(e) for the words "32(2) (g)" substitute "51(2) (i)".").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 58 not moved.]

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendment No. 59:


Page 121, line 44, at end insert:
("( ) In section 31(7) (b) (iii) (restriction on applications for care and supervision orders), for the words "the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968" substitute "Part II of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995".").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, in moving this amendment I shall also speak to Amendment No. 60. These are technical amendments which will amend the Children Act 1989 so that references to "supervision requirement" in that Act are drawn from the definition in the Bill rather than from the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. I commend the amendments to the House. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendments Nos. 60 and 61:


Page 122, line 7, at end insert:
("( ) In Schedule 8 (privately fostered children), in paragraph 3(b), for the words "the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968" substitute "Part II of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995".").
Page 125, line 6, leave out from second ("proceedings"") to end of line 8 and insert ("—
(a) the words "under section 42 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968" shall cease to have effect;
(b) after the word "application" where it appears for the first time insert "under section 64(6) or (8) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995";

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(c) after the word "established" insert "or for a review of such a finding under section 84 of that Act"; and
(d) after the word "application" where it appears for the second time insert "or, as the case may be, the review".").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 5 [Repeals]:

The Earl of Lindsay moved Amendments Nos. 62 to 70:


Page 127, line 48, column 3, at end insert:
("Section 88.").
Page 128, line 25, column 3, at beginning insert ("Section 5(10A).").
Page 129, line 7, column 3, at end insert ("Section 53.").
Page 129, line 33, column 3, at end insert ("In section 14(1), the words from "Subject" to "certain cases)"").
Page 129, line 34, column 3, leave out ("15(3)") and insert ("15, in subsection (1), the words from "Subject" to "certain cases)"; and in subsection (3),").
Page 129, line 55, at end insert:
("1980 c.44. Education (Scotland) Act 1980. Section 44(1). In section 65B(6), paragraph (a). In section 135(1), the definition of "reporter of the appropriate local authority".").

Page 130, line 30, column 3, at end insert ("In Schedule 3, paragraph 7.").
Page 130, line 48, at end insert:
("1988 c.32. Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988. In section 9, in the definition of "civil proceedings", in paragraph (a), the words "under section 42 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968".").

Page 131, line 14, at end insert:
("1993 c.9. Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993. In paragraph 8 of Schedule 3, the definition of "criminal proceedings", the words "under section 42 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968".")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

8.13 p.m.

The Earl of Lindsay: My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill do now pass.

The Children (Scotland) Bill which, as amended, is before your Lordships' House for a Third Reading today is a significant step forward in Scottish children's legislation. It is no exaggeration to say that it represents a historic advance on the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and other legislation, which has in its time served us well.

The Bill defines the responsibilities and rights of parents. It promotes the welfare of children. It improves the protection of children. It brings adoption law up to date. The Bill implements the undertaking to legislate

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which we made in our White Paper, Scotland's Children in 1993. It also implements important parts of the Scottish Law Commission's report on family law.

This Bill has been the subject of careful and helpful consideration in this House. In procedural terms, the Bill has followed an unusual course which, I think, noble Lords have found useful. In particular, the Committee stage of the Bill took place off the Floor of the House. This released it from some of the usual constraints on time and enabled us to consider the extensive and complex issues raised by it more fully. I am very grateful to noble Lords for the amount of time and care which they have devoted to the Bill, in particular at the Committee stage. As the noble Lord, Lord Macaulay, said, debate was carried out in a spirit of constructive and understanding cross-party consensus.

I am particularly indebted to my noble and learned friend Lord Fraser, who was involved with this Bill from its very early stages when it was being drafted in consultation with various groups in Scotland, and all the way through to just a few days ago. I am also indebted to my noble and learned friend the Lord Advocate who, at comparatively short notice last week, lent us his wisdom and guidance on certain crucial matters. I must also thank my noble friend Lord Balfour, who is assiduous in his reading of the legislation, both for his comments on its substance and in making sure that the draftsmen have got it right. Once again, I will pass on the compliment paid to him behind his back by one of the officials, who remarked that he has a higher scoring rate than Gavin Hastings. The accuracy with which he managed to spot certain drafting matters continues to impress.

The noble Baroness, Lady Saltoun, was indefatigable in her efforts to bring this Bill forward and improve it during its passage. I would say the same of the noble Earl, Lord Mar and Kellie and the noble Lord, Lord Macaulay. They all spent a considerable amount of their own time and interest in seeking to make sure that this Bill leaves the House in as good as state as it possibly can.

My noble friend Lady Carnegy, who made a tremendous contribution at Second Reading, was, sadly, not with us for all the intervening stages. However, she has still contributed to the final shape of the Bill. I must also mention the memorable maiden speech at Second Reading from the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, the Lord President, and the wisdom that he brought to our debate on the report on corporal punishment.

As noble Lords will know, we have considered a substantial number of amendments to this Bill while it has been before the House. Over 300 amendments have been made. This reflects the careful attention that has been given by noble Lords to the detail of the Bill in ensuring that it works well to the benefit of Scotland's children.

Major improvements have been made as a result. I would mention in particular the amendments which now make it possible to exclude an abuser from the family home on an emergency basis while still retaining the safeguards of a very early hearing before a sheriff on whether or not to confirm the original emergency exclusion.

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A new clause has also been added to provide a proper procedure by which new evidence can be considered. This amendment to the Bill arose out of the difficulties which had arisen over the case of the South Ayrshire children. It removes the need to make use of the nobile officium, which was considered an unsatisfactory way of considering new evidence. It is important in issues of the welfare of children to ensure that, if there is significant new evidence which needs to be considered, there is a clear procedure for doing this.

As a result of amendments brought forward by noble Lords, we have also added to the Bill a clear right for the child to attend his or her own hearing. This is in keeping with the greater emphasis on the rights of children. Important and useful amendments have also been made to the arrangements for warrants arising from child protection orders. These clarify procedures and provide safeguards for children.

Many other helpful changes have been made and, without wanting to single out any noble Lord in particular, I would express special thanks to all who have taken part. We now have before us a Bill which I consider to be substantially improved and one which will contribute significantly to promoting the welfare and protection of Scotland's children.

We now need to look forward to the major process of implementation. This will involve regulations and rules of court; guidance and training for all those involved in implementing the Act; information for children and their parents in a readily understood form; and information for the general public.

The Bill has been well described as setting a challenging agenda for the future in the interests of Scotland's children. It is certainly an extensive agenda and we shall be planning its implementation with great care so that all the parts are prepared and in place to ensure successful implementation. We still have to make decisions on exactly when the Bill's provisions are to be implemented, but we need to be realistic and follow an adequate timescale.

It is only right that we take account of the capacity and readiness of the new councils to assume their responsibilities under the Bill. At the same time we wish to ensure that the implementation programme has the benefit of responsible and informed opinion. This means that there will be wide consultation on important aspects of implementation—including rules of court—and we look to all those concerned with the Bill to make positive contributions to that process.

The Bill is a valuable statement of children's law based on clear principles. It is designed to benefit all the children of Scotland and their families. I am grateful to noble Lords for the close and co-operative interest they have taken in it. I commend the Bill to the House.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(The Earl of Lindsay.)


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