Scottish ministers have moved to amend the bill incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law.

Amendments to be considered at stage 2 of the bill would provide for automatic commencement one year after the Act receives Royal Assent, if ministers do not bring it into force earlier.

Changes will also be made to the definition of "public authority". As drafted, the bill provides that it is unlawful for public authorities to act in a way that is incompatible with the UNCRC and gives children, young people and their representatives the power to go to court to enforce their rights. If agreed, the amendment will mean that anyone undertaking functions under a contract or other arrangement with a public authority will be obliged to comply with the legislation and will be directly responsible and accountable for ensuring children’s rights are respected.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "Following approval by the Parliament of the general principles of the bill, the Scottish Government will strengthen the bill to move further and faster."

On the timing he added: "This is an appropriate balance between the ambition to protect children’s rights as soon as possible and the need to give public bodies sufficient time to prepare. The justice system, in particular, will need time to put in place necessary processes, procedures and court rules."