children's hearing
in Scotland, children under 16 years of age are not dealt with through the courts except in the most exceptional circumstances but are dealt with by a panel at a private hearing. Assuming that grounds for referral are accepted or proved, the child is sent to a Children's Panel made up of citizens. A reporter presents the case, and the Panel decides what to do with the child, including the option of compulsory measures of care. Not only criminal matters are dealt with. The reporter can initiate proceedings on the basis of other information and on the basis that the child needs help.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

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