Data rights group: ‘Named person trials could be illegal’

Scottish councils have been told to review pilot versions of the Named Person scheme, after the UK Supreme Court suggested they could be breaking the law last week.

More than 270,000 children already have a Named Person under pilot schemes rolled out in several areas.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has called for a review of all pilots after Supreme Court judges ruled that data sharing provisions in the Named Person legislation are illegal.

Legal compliance

After the verdict, the ICO stated that, “pilot schemes must be in compliance with legislative obligations under current law”.

It added that the Supreme Court judgment “provides a timely prompt for those councils to review their current processes to ensure they are compliant”.

Spokesman for the No to Named Persons campaign (NO2NP) Simon Calvert said the move serves to illustrate their “deep-rooted concerns”.

Endless heartache

“We have had to drag the Scottish Government and their supporters through the courts to prove what we have been saying for two years was correct and that the Named Person scheme as enacted is illegal.

“It could be that families will need to go to court to prove their human rights have been breached by data sharing which has already been carried out in pilot scheme areas.”

The Times reports that some parents have already expressed a desire to pursue such legal action on Facebook. According to the newspaper, one said the plans have “caused our children endless heartache” with another saying they have “destroyed my family”.

Different scheme

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said there is an “absolute commitment” to push ahead with the controversial scheme at the “earliest possible date”.

He has been heavily criticised for portraying last week’s ruling as a victory for the Government.

Christian Institute Director Colin Hart said the successful legal action was a “vindication” of years of campaigning to protect families from state interference.

He dismissed Mr Swinney’s claims and said new Named Person legislation would be impossible to operate in the way the Scottish Government wanted.


This week Mr Swinney is conducting talks with representatives from local authorities, the police and children’s charities but he has failed to include opponents of the plans, such as parents.

A spokesman for NO2NP said the group was “disappointed” that Mr Swinney was consulting “only those who support his Government’s policy”.

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