Information Sharing provisions: the way forward
Date: 15th November 2016
Category: General measures of implementation
Clan Childlaw have prepared a paper setting out the way forward for Information Sharing provisions.
This paper follows the organisations' successful intervention in the 'Named Person' case in the Supreme Court.
Clan's and others' intervention appealed against the Scottish Government's Named Person scheme on the basis that the information sharing provisions in Part 4 of the Children & Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 are incompatible with Article 8 ECHR. In July 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that information-sharing provisions included in the Named Person scheme may result in a disproportionate interference with the rights of children, young people and their parents under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Court was very clear that the policy intention behind the 2014 Act is 'unquestionably legitimate and benign' and does not breach human rights.
Therefore, the legislation could not be brought into force as it stood. Scottish Government has been clear in its continued commitment to the Named Person scheme. On the 8th September 2016, John Swinney announced the beginning of a three-month engagement with stakeholders, with a view to commencing Named Person in August 2017.
In this paper, Clan Childlaw sets out the legislative history of the provisions, analysis of the Supreme Court decision and a preferred way forward in engaging with Scottish Government about next steps.