Named Person: Judge hears new aspect of legal case

A judge has today heard further evidence in the case against the controversial Named Person scheme.

The Christian Institute, other organisations and concerned parents are taking the legal action against the plans amid warnings that the plans step on family rights.

Today at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, judge Lord Pentland considered new sex education guidance from the Scottish Government which, as The Christian Institute reported on Monday, puts named persons ahead of parents.


After the release of the guidance, the Institute and co-petitioners requested a special hearing on the matter.

Aidan O’Neill QC presented the case in court and Lord Pentland will consider the issue before giving a ruling.

Colin Hart, speaking for the NO2NP campaign, said the Scottish Government’s position was disingenuous.

“They are pleading to the court that the scheme is not in operation whilst at the same time issuing guidance to schools which assumes the exercise of the named person’s powers”, he said.


Earlier this week NO2NP said the new sex education guidance “beggars belief” and is “another example of the Government undermining the importance of parents”.

In the section on confidentiality the guidelines make no reference to parents.

Instead it says: “Staff should discuss any concerns they have with the young person and ensure they have access to confidential, young people friendly services, where appropriate.

“If there is judged to be a risk to the child’s wellbeing, staff should inform the child’s Named Person.”

State guardian

Last month, at the beginning of the main court hearing, O’Neill accused the Government of putting out “rubbish”, and not being open enough about the legislation.

He told the judge that the plans interfere with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires respect for private and family life.

Under the plans, every child from birth will receive a state guardian until the age of 18.

Share information

The named person will be able to share information with a wide range of public authorities and intervene without parental consent.

The legal action is being taken by The Christian Institute, Christian charity CARE, Tymes (The Young ME Sufferers) Trust, the Family Education Trust and concerned parents.

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