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Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019

Questioning in urgent cases

171.Sections 54 and 55 make provision about the questioning of children (as defined in section 39(3)) in certain emergency situations. A senior officer (superintendent or above) may authorise the questioning of the child if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the child has, by behaving violently or dangerously, caused or risked causing serious physical harm to another person, that the questioning is necessary to investigate the circumstances and that the risk of loss of life makes it impracticable for an application for a child interview order to be made.

172.If authorisation for questioning is granted, the child is not required to answer questions (and the child must be informed of this right prior to the questioning taking place). A parent of the child must, if practicable, be informed that authorisation for the questioning has been granted (although this duty need not be complied with if informing the parent would exacerbate the risk of loss of life). An application for a child interview order must be made as soon as practicable after the authorisation for emergency questioning is granted and a child interview rights practitioner must also be informed (even though the child has no specific right to a child interview rights practitioner in relation to the emergency questioning).

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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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