Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines

Last updated: 04 Sep 2018 Topics: Safeguarding and child protection

The Gillick competency and Fraser guidelines help people who work with children to balance the need to listen to children’s wishes with the responsibility to keep them safe.

This factsheet outlines key findings from a 1985 judgement by the House of Lords on a legal case which looked specifically at whether doctors should be able to give contraceptive advice or treatment to under 16-year-old girls without parental consent.

Since then, they have been more widely used to help assess whether a child has the maturity to make their own decisions and to understand the implications of those decisions.