Extending Temporary Justice Measures Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2022

The Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ) works towards ensuring that Scotland’s approach to children and young people in conflict with the law is rights-respecting; contributing to better outcomes for our children, young people and communities. Through our participatory work with children and young people, the research evidence we have generated and our policy and practice knowledge, we understand and recognise the strong impact of poverty and inequality on the likelihood of a child or young person coming into conflict with the law, and the impacts this can have on their ability to transition away from harmful behaviours.

The Scottish Government are currently reviewing the temporary justice provisions in the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act 2022. The measures are due to expire on 30 November this year, but they can be extended until November 2025 if Parliament agrees. In May 2024, CYCJ was asked to provide views on how Parts 1-5 of the provisions were working and what would happen if they were not renewed.

Key Summary
CYCJ very much welcomes this review of the temporary justice measures in the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act 2022. Although much has changed since the pandemic, key issues of social and economic inequality highlighted in 2020 continue to shape access to justice for children and young people.

Whilst we recognise the benefits of virtual attendance, equal access to justice requires significant support and capacity to be provided to overcome digital barriers and ensure all children and young people can participate meaningfully.
CYCJ strongly believes fiscal fines should not be applied to children and young people with alternatives such as early intervention and diversion far more likely to deliver positive outcomes. We also note that in practice children and young people in poverty were disproportionately hit with fixed penalty notices in 2020.

Delays in the justice system can have extremely significant impacts on children and young people, coinciding with very important periods for development and socialisation. Further extension of these temporary measures raises significant rights issues, in particular the deprivation of liberty only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate time (Article 37, UNCRC), as well as the right to recovery for child victims (Article 39, UNCRC).

Download Extending Temporary Justice Measures Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2022

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622


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