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Supreme Court ruling on the UK Government challenge of the UNCRC Bill

Children in Scotland accepts the verdict of the Supreme Court to rule in favour of the UK Government’s challenge of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) Bill.

We have worked alongside a wide range of organisations, politicians, campaigners and children and young people themselves to marshal the argument for a maximalist approach to the incorporation of the UNCRC. While this ruling is a setback it is not the end of incorporation, and we remain committed supporters of this goal. 

The challenges made by the UK Government to section 6 – which focuses on the compliance of public authorities with the Convention – and sections 19-20 relating to the powers of Scottish Courts have been upheld by the Supreme Court. The decision has been taken by the Court on the grounds of legislative competence as they constrain the UK Parliament’s ability to make laws in Scotland. The successful challenge by the UK Government means that the Bill will now need to be revised and re-considered by the Scottish Parliament.   

We recognise that it will take time for the bill to be revised and to be passed by parliament, but remain confident this can be achieved. We will be encouraging the Scottish Government to work quickly to bring forward revisions and also urge Scottish Government to continue with its plans for implementation of the Convention in areas that can still be progressed while the Bill returns to Parliament. This will help ensure that public bodies are ready for commencement when this is possible.  

Children and young people, as well as the wider children’s sector have been clear in the need for action to progress children’s rights. We look forward to working with our partners to support the revised Bill through Parliament and to continuing to support action across government and civil society to ensure children’s rights are upheld.

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