Dundee Family Lawyer

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Legal Challenge of Named Person Policy

A legal challenge to the Scottish Government’s controversial ‘Named Person’ policy has been launched at the Supreme Court, the highest civil court in the UK. The scheme had been approved as part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 but was appealed by a number of charities and individuals.

The policy is designed to appoint a single point of contact for all children up to the age of 18, or older if they are still in school. This will be a person who they can go to for support, advice or to talk about any worries they have. The named person will also be a point of contact if any matters relating to the child’s wellbeing need to be referred to the authorities.

For children of pre-school age, the named person will normally be a health visitor. For school age children, the named person will be a promoted teacher in the school. This will apply to both state and independent schools.
Those who support the policy argue that it will help to protect vulnerable children. Groups such as Barnardo’s and the NSPCC wrote to the Supreme Court panel to urge them to dismiss the legal challenge.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The named person isn’t someone new or unknown – it is a person who is already working with the child and family, and simply strengthens that strong relationship.

“It provides a central point of contact for parents and children so they don’t have to tell their stories over and over again to a crowd of services, and they can receive appropriate support if and when they need it.”

Opposition to the Policy

However, many oppose the policy with a recent YouGov poll finding 48% of the 1.070 adults surveyed are unhappy with the proposals. Some argue that the policy presents an unnecessary interference with family life and breaches the parent’s human rights.

Simon Calvert, a spokesman for NO2NP (No to Named Person), said: "We have had the privilege of a full and forensic hearing in front of the judges in the highest court in the land.

"We made detailed arguments which we firmly believe are of the utmost importance and which go to the heart of the matter - the crucial right of parents and children to a private family life and for their personal information not to be misused by organs of the state.

"We await the verdict with anticipation."

Contact Family Law Dundee

Family Law Dundee are highly experienced family lawyers. We assist clients with child law issues such as child contact and child residence. We approach all family law matters with care and consideration, and always seek to find an amicable way to resolve problems. Contact our friendly and welcoming team today to find out how we can help you.

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