Named Person: ‘Day of freedom for families’

Plans to assign a state guardian to every child in Scotland will not come into force today as planned, after last month’s historic Supreme Court decision.

The Scottish Government had proposed that from 31 August every person under the age of 18 would have a named person to monitor their “wellbeing”.

But the Supreme Court unanimously struck down the central provisions of the scheme last month.


Last week, the Government officially lodged Parliamentary orders to halt the implementation of the law underpinning the Named Person scheme.

However, it has stated that it remains “committed” to the programme.

On 28 July, the Supreme Court ruled that the data sharing provisions of the legislation behind the Named Person scheme breach the right to a private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.


In one striking line from the judgment, the Supreme Court Justices observed: “The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world.”

This was the first time that the Supreme Court has prevented a major piece of legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament from coming into force.

The Christian Institute co-ordinated the successful legal action.


Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said today was a good day for families.

“All along we have been clear that parents are the ones who know their children best, not state officials.

“Yes, there will be times when people need assistance, but this scheme was aimed at every child, at all times, for even the most trivial of matters.


“The Supreme Court’s decision means the Named Person scheme cannot come into force as originally intended.

“We give thanks to God for this ruling and are delighted that families continue to be free to raise their children in the way that they see fit, without having an Orwellian Government peering into their homes.

“Today could have been the beginning of a compulsory state guardian scheme. Instead, because of our legal action and the judges’ ruling, this is a day of freedom for families and family life.”

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