Opponents of ‘named person’ policy set to appeal

Legal papers challenging Holyrood's controversial named person plans previously lodged at the Court of Session, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
Legal papers challenging Holyrood's controversial named person plans previously lodged at the Court of Session, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
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OPPONENTS of controversial plans to appoint a “named person” for every child in Scotland are to appeal after a judge rejected a legal challenge against the policy.

The No To Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign group has confirmed it will continue its fight against measures in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act that would assign a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, to look out for the welfare of children under 18.

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Last month Lord Pentland refused a petition for the judicial review of the legislation at the Court of Session, Scotland’s top civil court.

The policy is already being rolled out in parts of Scotland including Highland, Edinburgh, Fife, Angus and South Ayrshire.

Supporters say the service will act as a safety net to help families and children if they need it, to speed things up and avoid families having to speak to numerous different services.

NO2NP argue ministers have exceeded their powers and that the measures breach data protection laws and the human rights of parents.

A motion has now been formally lodged at the Court of Session asking a panel of three judges to consider the proposals again.

A campaign spokesman said: “We are now more convinced than ever that this legislation is wrong for children, wrong for families and wrong for Scotland.

“The legislation has been a muddled mess since its inception and the concept has always been confusing.

“We’re confident that our grounds for appeal are strong and we have wonderful backing from ordinary mums and dads outraged by this imposition into their family lives.”

The campaign criticised draft guidance published by the Scottish Government last week aimed at outlining how the plans would work in practice, which is currently the subject of a three-month consultation.

The spokesman added: “Remarkably, the guidance issued last week on how it would be implemented, which was supposed to clarify and illuminate matters, has only served to muddy the waters even more.

“It contains 109 pages of impenetrable, incoherent and incomprehensible politically correct doublespeak.

“Our experts have trawled through the guidance and remain none the wiser about how a named person is supposed to carry out the role.

“Instead of giving practitioners clear direction, the guidance just pushes the problems of how to operate the scheme over to them.”

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