Sturgeon claims ‘Named Persons not a breach of human rights’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed during a BBC interview that the Supreme Court did not say the Named Person policy was illegal or breached human rights.

She maintained the Government spin that the bulk of the scheme is unaffected by their defeat in the Supreme Court, downplaying the court defeat as “a particular concern upheld in the Supreme Court around the data-sharing aspects of this”.

If only she had read the judgment for herself:

“the sharing of personal data between relevant public authorities is central to the role of the named person” (para. 78).

“one of the principal purposes [of the Named Person law]… was to alter the existing law in relation to the sharing of information about children and young people, so as to enable information about concerns about their wellbeing” (para. 4).

“the information-sharing provisions … 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’ … 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 … the information-sharing provisions of Part 4 of the Act are not within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament” (para. 106).

“…since the defective provisions are not within the legislative competence of the Parliament, they cannot be brought into force” (para. 109).

Still claiming it’s about child protection

The First Minister said her Government was “determined” to “progress with this policy … because it is about trying to protect children”. But even arch loyalists like Alistair Gaw have admitted the Named Person is “not about child protection”.

The First Minister also claimed she wanted to act “in a way that brings people together and addresses people’s concerns as we go”. Her Deputy First Minister’s refusal to consult with anyone who doesn’t agree with his policy doesn’t augur well for this.

The First Minister was responding to a question during a BBC webchat yesterday. Click here to watch the exchange.

As BBC Scotland’s political editor says to the First Minister, “Folk are still not very happy with this.”

The media and the Government know we are not going away. Let’s keep up the pressure.

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