Court rules policy is in best interests of children and complies with law.
Commenting on the Court’s ruling of the named person judicial review appeal, which upheld the Lord Ordinary’s decision that the legislation did not contravene ECHR rights or EU law, Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell said:
“We welcome this decision by three judges, led by the Lord Justice Clerk, which again upholds the ruling that the named person service does not contravene ECHR rights or EU law. As the ruling states, this policy was informed by experts in child welfare, health and education with the intention of putting the best interests of the child at the heart of decision making.
“We know parents and carers are, with very few exceptions, the best people to raise their children. We are pleased the court has confirmed that the legislation will have no effect on the legal, moral or social relationships within the family and we hope the petitioners and all those who have expressed concern on this aspect also take comfort from that.
“The named person role was introduced to provide a single point of contact for families and builds on the supportive role that teachers and health professionals have long offered to children, young people and parents.
“Today’s decision confirms our aim of the legislation is to promote, support and safe-guard child wellbeing. This now means we can get on with the work of preparing to implement all aspects of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act and we will continue to consult with a wide range of stakeholders, including parents.”
The Court of Session’s full ruling can be found here: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=8a55eaa6-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7
The court decision on the Named Person Judicial Review appeal found:
• Part 4 (Named Persons) of the Act does not contravene ECHR rights, EU law or fundamental common law rights. This also applies to the information sharing provisions of the legislation, which the Court found were not in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.
• The provisions of the Act are within the devolved competence of the Scottish Parliament.
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, including the named person service, was supported by a large majority of those who responded to the public consultation, backed by a wide range of children’s charities and professionals, and endorsed by the Parliament. Among the non-government supporters of the Named Person are the signatories to the attached briefing: http://tinyurl.com/NamedPerson-CharitiesBriefing
Case studies, and other information about the named person role can be found here: www.tinyurl.com/NamedPersonFacts
The named person will typically be a head teacher, guidance teacher or health visitor the family already knows and will speed things up and save families the time and trouble of having to re-tell their story to different services. The Named Person will not be a social worker.
In line with the current approach of a school head or guidance teacher, the named person only offers advice and assistance when it’s needed, there is no obligation on parents or children to approach the service.
The policy has been tested and is already working well in several areas of Scotland where it has been rolled out – such as Highland, Edinburgh, Fife, Angus and South Ayrshire – but all parts of Scotland have been taking it forward positively.