Thursday, 28 July 2016

Supreme Court blocks Named Person

"Judges at the Supreme Court have today blocked the Scottish Government’s controversial ‘Named Person’ scheme, branding it `unlawful`."

Key extracts from the judgement:

"The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world. Within limits, families must be left to bring up their children in their own way." [Paragraph 73]

"…there must be a risk that, in an individual case, parents will be given the impression that they must accept the advice or services which they are offered, especially in pursuance of a child’s plan for targeted intervention under Part 5; and further, that their failure to co-operate with such a plan will be taken to be evidence of a risk of harm. An assertion of such compulsion, whether express or implied, and an assessment of non-cooperation as evidence of such a risk could well amount to an interference with the right to respect for family life which would require justification under article 8(2). Given the very wide scope of the concept of ‘wellbeing’ and the SHANARRI factors, this might be difficult. Care should therefore be taken to emphasise the voluntary nature of the advice, information, support and help which are offered under section 19(5)(a)(i) and (ii) and the Guidance should make this clear." [Paragraph 95]

"In summary, we conclude that the information-sharing provisions of Part 4 of the Act … (b) are incompatible with the rights of children, young persons and parents under article 8 of the ECHR because they are not ‘in accordance with the law’ as that article requires, (c) may in practice result in a disproportionate interference with the article 8 rights of many children, young persons and their parents, through the sharing of private information…" [Paragraph 106]


  1. Excellent b/c it highlights the judges discomfort with any kind of pressure / compulsion.


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  4. The SNP are a single (emotive) issue party and blind partisanship is bound to be a problem. Plus..

    "As a former political editor of the Sunday Herald, I can testify that the parliamentary committee system has been one of the big disappointments of devolution. Too many MSPs seem incapable of stringing more than a sentence together, far less asking a killer question.

    You would get a tougher grilling by pupils at a secondary school hustings than you would at some committees."