A coalition of thirteen major children’s charities have
obtained legal advice that the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill contains
significant breaches of the Human Rights Act and the Children
The coalition says the Bill “appears to undermine
(children, young people and their parents’) rights as
established in both domestic and international
Legal opinion from Anthony Jennings QC lists four aspects of the
Bill which breach human rights legislation. These are the police
power to disperse groups of two or more people, the police power to
return a child under 16 to their home, the power of the criminal
courts to impose fostering requirements on some convicted children
and the removal of reporting restrictions in respect of children
who are the subject of ant-social behaviour orders.
In a joint statement, the charities also voice serious concerns
about lack of consultation on the measures in the Bill before it
was published. It also fails, they say, to establish a common
definition of anti-social behaviour.
The signatories to the statement are: Barnardo’s,
Children’s Rights alliance for England, the Children’s
Society, Family Service Units, National Association for the Care
and Resettlement of Offenders, National Association for Youth
Justice, National Children’s Bureau, NCH, NCVCCO, NSPCC, The
National Youth Agency, Save the Children UK and YMCA.