The ‘Named Persons’ Scheme – When Protecting Wellbeing Is Totalitarian

“Had there been any argument that the rights of parents to bring up children in accordance with their philosophical convictions, and the rights of children to be protected by the State from harm were in conflict, I would have hoped and expected there was only one possible resolution to the conflict, in favour of the children’s rights. But in truth, this was never primarily about religious rights and freedoms, it was always about arbitrary State interference in family life.”

Celtic Knot Says...

This post by me is also available at Pink Tape and Local Government Lawyer

Back in 2013, I was asked by the Scottish home education charity Schoolhouse HEA to provide a legal opinion on the proposed scheme to appoint so-called “named persons” to every child in Scotland. I was asked specifically to comment upon its compatibility with EU and human rights law. My opinion was that it was incompatible with both. That opinion can be read on the website of the Scottish Parliament here, and with an attractive full-colour cover on Schoolhouse’s website here.

While pretty much every legally-qualified response to the proposed scheme expressed concerns (e.g. cl@n childlaw (which became an intervener), Faculty of Advocates, Govan Law Centre,  Law Society of Scotland, Kenneth Norrie, Professor of Law, Strathclyde University, Scottish Child Law Centre – each of whom referenced Article 8 specifically), the

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