The UK Supreme Court has spoken out against the Independent Safeguarding Authority‘s (ISA) Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS):
“The widespread concern about the compulsory registration rules for all those having regular contact with children, as proposed by the Government in September 2009, demonstrates that there is a real risk that, unless child protection procedures are proportionate and contain adequate safeguards, they will not merely fall foul of the Convention [on human rights], but they will rebound to the disadvantage of the very group they are designed to shield, and will undermine public confidence in the laudable exercise of protecting the vulnerable,” wrote Lord Neuberger, one of the panel of five judges considering the case.
It’s interesting to see the UK’s supreme legal body agrees that the direction the ISA is going in won’t just end up disadvantaging the vulnerable groups it’s supposed to ‘safeguard’, but that it will actually breach the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). I really hope Sir Roger Singleton, Ed Balls, anyone with influence over the ISA appreciates the significance of this, but I doubt it.
The ISA must be abolished. Only then can agencies and resources already tasked with protecting children and ‘vulnerable’ adults actually do their jobs properly. It’s reassuring to see that the Supreme Court understands this, but it’ll take more than this ruling to end the agency.
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