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Politics – Scotland must drop Named Person law

October 2017

Clan Childlaw, a children’s charity has called for the Scottish Government to drop its watered-down Named Person law. It claims the law, which has had to be reworked due to intense lobbying, still fails to address criticisms from the UK Supreme Court.

Clan Childlaw, which intervened in the successful court case spearheaded by the Christian Institute, said the new proposal was unnecessary and costly.

In August, the Faculty of Advocates also expressed serious concerns, warning that the updated plans lacked clarity and safeguards.

Under the original plans, every child in Scotland was set to have a state official tasked with looking after their ‘wellbeing’, defined as ‘happiness’. However, in July 2016, five UK Supreme Court judges unanimously struck down the central provisions of the scheme, forcing the Scottish government to bring in watered-down new proposals.

Alison Reid, principal solicitor for Clan Childlaw, said legislation on the issue should be ‘necessary, effective, clear and accessible’. She said the bill currently meets none of the criteria and ‘failed to overcome the difficulties identified by the Supreme Court, in relation to lack of precision and accessibility, and lack of safeguards and consent’.