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Supreme Court rules that Named Persons Scheme in Scots Law could breach ECHR

The Christian Institute and others v The Lord Advocate (Scotland) [2016] UKSC 51

Under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 which was passed by the Scottish Parliament, a named person would be assigned to every child and young person in Scotland to look out for the wellbeing of their appointed child.  Such persons could be a teacher or health visitor.  The named person would be able to advise and support the child or the child’s parents, help them to access services and discuss the child’s wellbeing with certain authorities.  They could also share information about the child to relevant public authorities to ensure that the child receives appropriate care.

The NO2NP campaign, (a coalition of charities with an interest in family issues, including concerned parents) challenged the scheme on the basis it would violate the right to respect to private and family life, protected under Art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Supreme Court held that the purpose of the scheme was unquestionably legitimate and benign and the fact that parents did not need to consent did not of itself violate Article 8.  However, the operation of the scheme, in relation to information sharing (including passing on confidential and sensitive information without the knowledge of the child or parents) and how advice would be given to parents, could interfere with the right to privacy and/ or family life.  The Scottish government will address the parts of the legislation which could violate Article 8.

Read Rights Info article here.

Children's Rights, ECHR Art. 8