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Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 51 – Duty to consider child’s wellbeing

150.Section 51 states that in making decisions to arrest a child (defined for this section in subsection (3) as a person under 18 years of age), hold a child in police custody, interview a child about an offence which the child is suspected of committing, or charge a child with an offence, a constable must treat the need to safeguard and promote the well-being of the child as a primary consideration. This does not mean that the interests of the child are the only consideration or that they are, in all cases, the most important consideration. For example, the need to protect others may prevail.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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