Supreme Court to hear legal challenge on 8 March

A date has been set for the Supreme Court to hear the appeal against the Named Person scheme being brought by groups and individuals involved in NO2NP .

Last month, judges from Scotland’s highest court ruled that the legislation does not conflict with human rights or data protection laws.

But a coalition of groups, spearheaded by The Christian Institute, CARE (Christian Action Research and Education), TYMES Trust and the Family Education Trust, lodged an appeal.

Over two days starting on 8 March, the UK Supreme Court will hear their arguments against that decision, in a bid to stop the scheme being rolled out across Scotland later next year.

Simon Calvert, spokesman for the No to Named Persons campaign group, commented: “The right to a family life unhindered by state interference is of such vital importance that we feel we have no option but to bring the matter before the Supreme Court.

“The Scottish Government’s plans are uninvited, unwelcome and undemocratic.”

NO2NP has constantly raised serious concerns about the scheme, arguing that the Government is acting illegally and exceeding its powers.

Appointing state monitors directly contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights which defends a family’s right to a private life.

Also, the Scottish Government wants to share private and confidential data on families with numerous organisations.

Scotland’s highest court rejected concerns raised earlier this year, when three judges from the Inner House of the Court of Session ruled that the legislation does not conflict with human rights or data protection laws.

Academics, medical experts and social service professionals are among those who have expressed support for NO2NP.

Mr Calvert said: “We believe that so far the courts have failed to grasp what the legislation means in practice. Their failure to even try to understand the proper meaning of ‘wellbeing’ – the key concept in the legislation – is just one of the more obvious problems with the previous ruling.

“Pursuing this case is also vital to differentiate what the law actually says from what the Government PR machine is trying to sell.

“Despite the Government’s protestations to the contrary, the Named Person scheme is mandatory, not voluntary, it requires state officials to monitor the happiness of children, which is a parent’s job, and it lowers the threshold at which personal data on children and their families can be shared between countless officials, without their consent.

“Mums and dads must be allowed to bring up their children as they see fit and not according to government checklists.”

He added: “Almost 15,000 Scots have signed our petition and at our public meetings all over the country, the story is the same – the more people hear about the Named Person scheme, the more people are saying ‘No’.”

Supreme Court will rule on SNP plans for named guardians

The Scotsman, 24 October 2015

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