Sanity in Scotland

Nanny law stayed


This summer, Scotland was poised to fully implement a law appointing a government minder to every single child born in that country. The job of this so-called "named person" would be to observe a child's upbringing, compiling reports on what she saw and swooping in if she didn't believe the parents were loving, caring, or respectful enough. A pilot version was already rolled out for some families—entirely without their knowledge in many cases.

But just in the nick of time, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled the program illegal. The 5–0 decision stated that by allowing private family information to be shared by a wide variety of public bodies without the parent's or child's consent, the program violated the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the "right to a private and family life." The judges also quoted the U.S. Supreme Court, which has declared that children are "not the mere creature of the state."

Unfortunately, the ruling against this intrusive initiative may not necessarily put an end to it. The Court has given legislators 42 days to address the information-sharing issues and try again. "It is understood the government still hopes to roll out the system before the end of the year," the BBC reported. In other words, while Scottish parents have been granted a reprieve for now, Big Brother is still waiting in the wings.