Scottish government faces named person legal bill

Scottish government faces named person legal bill
Scottish government faces named person legal bill
Campaigners against named personImage copyright PA Image caption Campaigners opposed to the scheme gathered at the Supreme Court for the verdict

The Scottish government has been told to pay the legal costs of those who opposed its named-person scheme.

The estimated £250,000 bill run up by the No to Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign will be reimbursed after a UK Supreme Court ruling.

The campaign called the decision a “total and utter vindication” of its legal challenge.

The Scottish government has said it remains “absolutely committed” to its plan.

NO2NP spokesman Simon Calvert said: “The Scottish government argued we should pay our own costs but the judges disagreed, awarding us our costs, further proving that we have been right all along.

“Had the judges agreed with the government spin that they basically won the case and just had to make a few tweaks to the named person law, the court would not have awarded us our costs.”

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‘Entirely legitimate’

The scheme, which would assign a named person to everyone under the age of 18 in Scotland, is expected to be rolled out by August 2017.

The Scottish government has insisted that the Supreme Court ruling did not represent a clear defeat for its proposal.

A spokesman said: “The policy aim of providing a Named Person service has been judged by the Supreme Court to be entirely legitimate.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling requires changes to be made specifically to the information sharing provisions of the 2014 Act.

“The nature of the ruling means that it is likely that Scottish Ministers may incur costs at a level yet to be determined.”

He added: “Ministers remain absolutely committed to the named person service.”

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