Named person legal action gets under way

This week, the long-awaited judicial review of the Named Person provisions of the Children & Young People (Scotland) Act is being heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. With the law having been passed by the Scottish Parliament earlier in the year, the only route left to stop the implementation of the scheme is via the courts.

Several of the organisations who are supporting the NO2NP campaign are spear-heading the legal action, namely The Christian Institute, Tymes Trust, CARE and Family Education Trust.

Leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC is representing the petitioners in court. He has previously stated that “the blanket nature of this [named person] provision constitutes a disproportionate and unjustified interference with the right to respect for individual families’ private and family life”.

The case this week is focusing on four key legal arguments:

  1. Data protection: The compatibility of the Named Person legislation with data protection rules.
  2. Privacy: Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) entitles people to a private and family life.
  3. Education: Parents have a right to have their children educated in accordance with their beliefs.
  4. Religious liberty: Article 9 of ECHR protects the religious freedom of parents and children.