The First Minister tasked an advisory group with considering what should be done, in the light of Brexit, to ensure that human rights in Scotland continue to be progressed and not regress. This group chaired by Alan Miller, has now published its recommendations that shape an ambitious agenda for human rights in Scotland.
The Group recommend that civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights be directly incorporated into Scots law. The key recommendations are:
Recommendation 1: An Act of the Scottish Parliament which provides human rights leadership.
Recommendation 2: A public participatory process to be developed as a vital part of preparation of the Act and its implementation.
Recommendation 3: Capacity-building to enable effective implementation of the Act so as to improve people’s lives.
Recommendation 4: A Scottish Government National Mechanism for Monitoring, Reporting and Implementation of Human Rights
Recommendation 5: Development of human rights-based indicators for Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF).
Recommendation 6: Process for Implementation of Recommendations 1-5
Recommendation 7: Integration of any further devolved powers into the framework as proposed in Recommendation 1 and, if independence, a written constitution including a Bill of Rights for Scotland.
The report highlights that people in Scotland need to know their rights and that there must be accountability for these rights both in court and in the everyday accountability space. Emphasis is placed upon a participatory process in advance of the legislation, and that resource and effort needs to be put into implementation if this is to have its desired impact.
You can read the full report here.
The First Minister, on Human Rights Day, welcomed the direction of the recommendations and agreed that a national taskforce would be established for further progress. The Scottish Government will respond in full to the recommendations in the New Year.
HRCS members are invited to a roundtable to take stock of the detail of these recommendations and discuss how we can work together around these, 10.30-12.30 on 12th March in Edinburgh. You can find details of this meeting here.
Image credit: Timothy West, Flickr