When the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom recently rejected a scheme to appoint a government official to oversee every child born in Scotland, some may have assumed the issue was put to rest.
The lingering problem is for the local governments that could be sued by families whose personal information already was taken and used by bureaucrats who presumed the plan would be approved.
Opposition to the home-invasion program was organized by the Christian Institute, which has advised families to file “Subject Access Requests” to find out what information the government possesses.
Now the organization is forecasting “a wave of court actions for years of intrusion into family life.”
“Although the nationwide roll-out was due to begin next month, pilot schemes have been operating since 2010,” the institute said. “Campaigners against the Named Person plans said families affected can seek to secure financial compensation from the government and other public bodies for a ‘gross invasion of their human rights.’”
The NO2NP campaign, led by spokesman Simon Calvert, noted that one academic discovered a 60-page dossier on his family, including comments about one of his children who sucked his thumb and another reference to a child with a runny nose.
Calvert also pointed out a mother found a 120-page dossier that revealed government officials had been recording incorrect information about her, “portraying her as an ‘unfit’ parent.”
The court ruled the plans by government agents to obtain and exchange information about children and their families violated the European Convention on Human Rights’ provisions on privacy and family life.
“The point is there are local authorities that have been running named person pilot schemes on the expectation that this law would come into force,” Calvert told the Herald newspaper of Scotland. “They have in practice been sharing data at the much lower level enshrined in the named person law.
“So, those local authorities should be quaking in their boots, they should be worried, very worried, about parents making subject access requests and finding out data has been shared on them in breach of the data protection and human rights law. They should be worried parents are going to sue them.”
Calvert continued: “Parents really should consider finding out so they can challenge anything which has been drawn up by those behind this Big Brother scheme. Only then will they know what has been said about them behind their backs.”
Bill Alexander of the Care and Learning division at Highland Council said: “I will expect that both the information commissioner’s office, and the Scottish government will make statements in the next couple of days that will confirm for them what best practice involves. Obviously we will take full account of that, I don’t anticipate that will mean any changes in Highland.”
Other government officials expressed a desire to implement the program, with changes, as soon as possible.
“We will start work on this immediately so we can make the necessary legislative amendments,” deputy First Minister John Swinney told the newspaper.
At the time the program was struck by the court, critics charged it went too far with sharing information about children and families.
“The Supreme Court has vindicated our judicial review of the Scottish government’s controversial Named Person scheme, ruling the plans unlawful,” the institute statement said. “In a historic decision the five judges, including two from Scotland, unanimously struck down the central provisions of the scheme.”
The justices pointedly observed in their ruling: “The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is to get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers’ view of the world. Within limits, families must be left to bring up their children in their own way.”
Under the plan as lawmakers outlined, beginning at the end of this month, every child in Scotland was to be assigned a state guardian to monitor their “wellbeing.”
Polls showed two-thirds of the Scottish people believed it was an “unacceptable intrusion” into family matters.
WND has reported the concept of a government watchdog for each child comes from the philosophy of the United Nations.
“This law shows the natural progression for a country that has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and attempts to live up to its treaty provisions,” said Michael Donnelly, director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Association.