Providing advice and assistance to children

Persons who may apply for A&A on the child’s behalf

When your client is a child the application may be made on their behalf by:

  • Any person having parental responsibilities in relation to the child [section 1(3) Children (Scotland) Act 1995],
  • Any person in whose care they are in
  • A person acting in the proceedings as their curator

It is the right of any child to apply on their own behalf or to authorise some other person to apply on their behalf [Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991].

Children applying on their own behalves: your role in assessing child’s ability to instruct a solicitor

If you are consulted on a civil matter relating to a child, you must form a view of the child’s general understanding of what it means to instruct you about any civil matter.

You may or may not consider that a child under 12 has a general understanding of such matters. If you do not consider yourself able to accept instructions from a child look to the parent or guardian for instruction.

We will register the application in the name of the child, if advice and assistance has been granted. In such cases, we will assume you are satisfied the child is of good understanding to instruct you.

If the application has been made and signed by a child aged under 12, you will require to address the child’s capacity when completing the online advice and assistance application.

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