HRCS Briefings and Reports

Extend legal aid to NGO and group cases

September 2019

Cases taken by groups and NGOs are important to enforcing human rights law. However, even where cases can be taken, often the cost is too much. The Consortium responded to the review of legal aid to ask that legal aid be available to groups and NGOs taking cases, not only individuals.

Incorporation of the UNCRC directly in Scots law

August 2019

The Scottish Government has committed to ‘gold standard’ incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots law.  The Consortium submitted a consultation response highlighting what is needed for strong and effective incorporation. We supported the draft Bill produced by an expert advisory group convened by Together and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland.

Public sector funding for equalities and human rights

August 2019

The Scottish Parliament Equality and Human Rights Committee asked for evidence to guide their budget scrutiny around public sector of the third sector aimed at promoting equality and human rights. The Consortium responded from our members’ experience around the all-too-common gap between rhetoric and policy, and the budget allocated to make them a reality on the ground.

Submission to UN Committee against Torture

April 2019

This submission is based on a collation of concerns from Consortium members, including prison overcrowding, segregation of prisoners, destitution of asylum seekers and the need for therapeutic support for victims of torture living in Scotland.

Summary paper: What types of support do Human Rights Defenders need?

January 2019

An overview of some of the key kinds of support that many Human Rights Defenders need and want, both in Scotland and in other countries.  This draws on discussion at a Consortium roundtable held in November 2018.

Overcoming Barriers to Public Interest Litigation in Scotland

November 2018

This report explores why there is a lack of strategic court action in Scotland and suggests recommendations to address this.  It suggests key barriers are: poor access to information about court cases; limitations to who can take a case to court; short time-limits for taking cases; inhibitive costs and financial risk; and a limited culture of using public interest litigation to bring change.

Authors Clan Childlaw, Human Rights Consortium Scotland, Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Shelter Scotland, JustRight Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland are clear that if we are to see human rights progressed in Scotland, we need more NGOs to be able to pursue strategic cases.

HRCS letter to John Finnie MSP about his proposed bill on equal protection for children

August 2017

John Finnie MSP held a consultation on a Private Members Bill to give equal protection to children.  This is a big human rights issue and the HRCS wrote a letter to john Finnie MSP to strongly support the introduction of the Bill.  You can read that letter here: Response to John Finnie Bill equal protection for children consultation Aug 2017

HRCS Summary Report – Making Change Happen: Using the courts to make rights a reality

July 2017

This is a summary of the key issues raised by speakers and participants at an event around strategic litigation, organised by the HRCS and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, held in Edinburgh on 1st June 2017.  Read the Summary Report here:Summary report – Making Change Happen

HRCS Summary: The Brexit Process

April 2017

This short briefing provides an overview of the Brexit process, drawn from presentations and discussion at the HRCS Seminar on ‘Brexit and its implications for rights’ held on 27th March 2017. Read the summary here: HRCS Summary Briefing – The Brexit Process

Rights at Risk: A collection of Scottish civil society perspectives on the potential impact of Brexit

March 2017

This report is a collection of contributions from civil society experts in Scotland. Each chapter was written in early 2017 and outlines the organisation’s key concerns around the ways in which Brexit may affect the everyday, essential rights of those that they work with. By drawing on the expertise and on-the-ground insight of each of these organisations, it is hoped that this report provides a useful outline of the task before us, and before the Scottish and UK Governments, if we are to protect and promote a human rights based society in a post-Brexit Scotland.  Read the report here.

HRCS Summary: Key links and publications from HRCS Members’ Roundtable 21st February 2017

February 2017

This roundtable meeting included short presentations from a number of HRCS member organisations about their current work related to human rights. This summary provides links to some of the publications and organisations that were highlighted: HRCS Roundtable followup summary 3 Mar 17