Wed 24 Jun 2020

Role of the Scottish Central Authority

Central Authorities have been set up in countries around the world to facilitate certain international and European Conventions. 

Often they are set up and administered under the umbrella of each country's "justice department". In Scotland the Minster of Justice acts as the Central Authority and has set up the Scottish Central Authority ("SCA") which is supported by the Scottish Executive Justice Department.

One of the responsibilities of the SCA is to be a conduit or facilitator of the 1980 Hague Convention. This is an international treaty dealing mainly with international parental child abduction and international parental access arrangements.

I have been fortunate to have been a long standing adviser for referrals from the SCA and my team and I continue to assist them by accepting referrals from parents whose children have been abducted and seek their return.

Recently the SCA has been asked by Eastern European countries to assist in identifying how the Scottish courts and the SCA deal with international parental child abductions.  I have provided my knowledge and expertise to allow the SCA to respond. I may be biased, but for me Scotland has a world-leading system to deal with international parental child abduction cases and I can only think of advantages for the children and parents involved in these difficult cases if other countries were to follow Scotland's lead. 

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