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Named Persons appeal

October 2015

One of the highest courts in the UK has turned down an appeal against the imposition of the Named Persons regime in Scotland.

The Inner House Court of Session in Edinburgh has refused to allow the ‘No to Named Persons’ (NO2NP) campaign to appeal against a ruling last year by Lord Pentland.

In January 2014, the Scottish peer overruled a petition by the campaign group, which asked for a judicial review of the controversial Named Persons scheme. NO2NP and its many supporters — of all faiths and none — claimed the plans were in breach of human rights, undermined parents and contravened data protection laws.

However, Lord Pentland claimed the plans did not breach human rights or data protection. Campaigners, such as charity CARE for Scotland, appealed against the judgement, but earlier this year the Inner House Court of Session in Edinburgh refused the appeal.

The judges did find that the four charities involved in the appeal — of which CARE for Scotland was one — did have standing to challenge the legislation, but upheld Lord Pentland’s findings.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, parliamentary officer for CARE for Scotland, said, ‘We are extremely disappointed by the court’s ruling. In recent months, the Scottish government’s misguided state guardian plans have been strongly criticised by the police, teachers, academics and prominent lawyers.

‘Once you emerge from the murky depths of the Scottish government’s guide to how the guardian scheme will work, it is clear these plans are overly complicated and completely unworkable’.

He said that the campaigners were convinced that, under the proposals, data protection laws and human rights laws will be breached, which he said was completely unacceptable.

Dr Gordon Macdonald said, ‘These draconian measures may come from a place of good intentions, but their consequences for the social fabric of our nation will be disastrous. The notion that a teacher, healthcare professional or some other agent of the state might be better placed than mums and dads to look after young people is absurd’.

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