Challenge To Child Guardian Plans

A legal challenge to Scottish Government plans to appoint named guardians for every child will get under way today.

The measure is contained in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act and assigns a ''named person'', such as a teacher or health visitor, to look out for the welfare of every child under 18.

It is opposed by the No To Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign group, which argues that ministers have exceeded their powers and breached data protection laws and the human rights of parents.

Legal papers formally challenging the plans were lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh earlier this year and a judicial review before Lord Pentland is due to begin there today.

The legal action is funded by donations from individuals and groups. The case will be argued by Aidan O'Neill QC, the campaign group said.

Colin Hart, spokesman for the NO2NP campaign group and director of the Christian Institute, said: ''This is all about the fight to save families. Enormous issues are at stake.

''What could be more important than the rights of mums and dads to bring up their children how they see fit, not being dictated to by the heavy hand of meddling and interfering politicians and their army of taxpayer-funded state monitors?''

The legal challenge is being spearheaded by the Christian Institute (CI), the Christian charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education), the Family Education Trust and Tymes (The Young ME Sufferers) Trust with the support of academics and individual parents. Donations to fund the case have been made from more than 70 different sources.

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent in March.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ''The legislation, including the named person service, was supported by a large majority of those who responded to the public consultation, backed by a wide range of children's charities and professionals working daily to support families across the country, and endorsed by the Parliament.

''As the legislation is currently the subject of a challenge in court, it would not be appropriate to comment further.''

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