Court rules against Scottish Government’s named person policy

From ‘The Scotsman’ Newspaper 28/07/2016

Campaigners have won a challenge at the Supreme Court against the Scottish Government’s proposals to appoint a named person for every child.

The scheme was approved by Holyrood as part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, but an appeal against it was mounted by four charities and three individuals.

Under the measure, a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, would be assigned to look out for the welfare of children under 18.

The named person is required to exercise statutory functions, including providing advice, information or support where appropriate to promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person.

Scottish ministers say the service will act as a safety net to help families and children if they need it while opponents argue the move breaches the human rights of parents.

Five Supreme Court justices, sitting in London on Thursday, allowed an appeal brought by those opposed to the scheme following a hearing in March.

The court ruled that information sharing provisions proposed under the 2014 Act may result in disproportionate interference with Article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to a family and private life.

As presently drafted they risk breaching important regulations protecting privacy and confidentiality.