Charity threatens legal action over Named Person policy

Child guardian hand hold

Controversial policy continues to face strong opposition from campaigners 

6th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A charity which took legal action against Named Person legislation says it will return to court if the bill goes ahead.

Christian Action Research and Education (Care) told MSPs amendments to the bill do not address wider problems relating to “human dignity.”

Addressing the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee, Care said there are concerns about how private data will be used via Named Persons legislation and claimed the law could seriously undermine the role of parents in family life.

The bill - which aims to provide every child in Scotland with a named person responsible for their wellbeing - was published in June after a Supreme Court ruling initially blocked the controversial policy. 

However the changes put forward to clarify the legislation are not enough says Care.

It warned it will return to court unless the bill designed is delayed.

Care policy officer Gordon Macdonald said: "There are still serious problems within this bill that have not been addressed by Scottish Government.

“The Scottish parliament is being asked to legislate in a vacuum. The bill should be delayed until guidance on the new general data protection regulation has been published.”

“Named Persons are still being asked to share information without a clear legal threshold being identified on the face of the bill.”

“The government needs to place parents at the heart of the bill, as they are in the best place to take care of their children. Doing this would save the government from having to make another embarrassing climbdown in the future.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are confident that the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) bill fully addresses the issues raised by the UK Supreme Court.

“It will bring consistency, clarity and coherence to the sharing of information about children’s and young people’s wellbeing across Scotland.

"The bill will be subject to scrutiny and approval by the Scottish Parliament and we will continue to listen to views of stakeholders and the Parliament through this process.”