Section 90 – Grounds to be put to child and relevant person
134.This section places a duty on the chairing member of the hearing to explain to the child and each relevant person at the hearing each of the grounds for referral, and to enquire whether those grounds are accepted by each of the parties or not. A statement of grounds may contain more than one ground for referral and each ground needs to be accepted (or not accepted) by the child and each relevant person. The chairing member must not simply read out the grounds as stated by the Principal Reporter but the chairing member must endeavour to ensure that the child and relevant persons understand the nature of the grounds by explaining each ground for referral. The chairing member is not obliged to pursue the explanation where the child or relevant person is unable to understand the grounds for referral, for example, where the case relates to a very young child see section 94(3).
135.Sections 91 to 97 below deal with the subsequent stages of the Children’s Hearing depending on the outcome of the chairing member’s enquiry about the acceptance or denial of the grounds for referral.