Citation Donnelly M (2019) A Tripartite Analysis of the Grounds of Referral to Children's Hearings. Juridical Review.
Abstract This article is concerned with the grounds of referral to the children's hearings system: Scotland's integrated juvenile care and justice system. The article posits a tripartite analysis of the grounds upon which children can be referred to hearings and, in so doing, rejects the traditional dualism between "offence" and "care and protection" grounds. Drawing upon empirical research, the article identifies three categories of grounds in current practice, namely: "care and protection", "conduct" and "offence". Qualitative data is presented in support of this original tripartite classification, which highlights the role of age in influencing the appropriate category of ground and suggests that children move through the different categories over time. The article concludes by exploring the practical significance of the tripartite nature of the grounds of referral and argues that increased use of diversion could prevent children from progressing through the three categories over time.
Keywords children’s hearings; grounds of referral; conduct; welfare