Commentator shebunkin on the Observer’s Comment is Free asks:
between 11m – 14m people working with children or vulnerable people will have their privacy invaded, and be effectively treated as fitting a criminal profile by virtue of their occupation or voluntary activity. they will pay approx £80m for this priviledge – a tax which the non-profiled don’t have to pay. and it will achieve very little which could be termed ‘positive’ and much damage, including to children themselves. one or two people will strike gold – its an ill wind etc…
furthermore, it will be illegal to hire, and to work or volunteer in the prescribed fields of work. the citizen’s right to work will be predicated on registering on the database.
how can this disproportionate legislation be compatible with the human rights act?
You’d think it isn’t, but looking at the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) I can’t see an immediate loophole to exploit to strike the legality of the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s (ISA) existence down. The ISA’s mandate clearly breaches the Universal Declaration (article 23) however, but the UDHR isn’t enforcable under any law. The ISA may be a political disaster (and should be treated as such), but legally it’ll be difficult to get abolished.
If I’m wrong on this, I’d love someone to pick out the legislation’s weak spots. It does seem improbable that the Vetting and Barring Scheme should be able to rescind people’s rights to employment, for reasons wich aren’t based on law.