The Scottish Public Law Group is delighted to announce an evening event, being held at Anderson Strathern’s Edinburgh offices, 1 Rutland Court, Edinburgh, EH3 8EY on 6 December 2016.

This event is free and will attract 1.5 hours of CPD. To register for the event click here.

In the week of international Human Rights Day, the SPLG is turning its spotlight on the ongoing debate in Scotland about how human rights are preserved in legislation, argued about in the courts and protected in practice.  In times of uncertainty post-Brexit, with a UK government manifesto pledge to repeal the Human Rights Acts, the Scottish Government committing to looking at how other international obligations, such as Economic, Social and Cultural Rights can be incorporated into Scottish Law but also receiving criticism for its introduction of the Named Person legislation, where are we now and what is the direction of travel?   Our speakers will look at all of these issues and provide insights on the current themes, how our laws are being shaped and developed to provide human rights protections for our modern civil society and how public bodies can be held accountable when in breach.

Our panel of speakers will inform us about these issues from their different perspectives, and contribute to an important debate on where Scotland currently stands on human rights within the public law arena, and how the future is being shaped by the courts and Parliament. The panel comprises:-

  • Judith Robertson, Chief Executive, Scottish Human Rights Commission – Judith Robertson Chairs the Scottish Human Rights Commission, charged with promoting and protecting human rights for everyone in Scotland. Previously Head of Oxfam Scotland, Judith has had long-standing involvement in social justice campaigning and advocating for the rights of many disadvantaged groups. Judith will outline the Commission’s approach to its work and the current challenges and opportunities. She will highlight the impact of Brexit on poverty and highlight concerns that human rights protecting fairness, justice and dignity stand to be eroded as a result of the UK’s changing relationship with Europe. She will set out the Commission’s argument for a progressive approach to human rights protections in Scotland.
  •  Bruce Adamson, Legal Officer, Scottish Human Rights Commission –  Bruce Adamson provides legal advice to the Scottish Human Rights Commission across the breadth of its work. He has previously worked as an expert for the United Nations, Council of Europe, and the European Union. He will discuss the role of the international human rights framework, including the EU acquis, in ensuring human rights protections in Scotland. He will highlight the need for domestic implementation of international obligations, including the growing recognition of the role of parliaments as human rights guarantors. He will also discuss strategic litigation and execution of judgments as well as the challenges faced as part of the reform of the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Alison Reid, Principal Solicitor and Chief Executive, Clan Childlaw – Alison Reid co-founded Clan Childlaw in 2008, is a court reporter and curator ad litem in Sherriff Court proceedings involving children.  Alison has also acted as a safeguarder in the children’s hearings system and been a member of the Law Society of Scotland’s Access to Justice Committee.  Alison will share her experience of intervening in the Court of Session and Supreme Court in the “Named Person” case (The Christian Institute & Others v The Lord Advocate) and in the Supreme Court in AB v HMA. She will also consider how intervening can be used as a tool to advance policy aims and how lawyers may be able to help overcome any real or perceived barriers.

The event will be chaired by Dr Kasey McCall-Smith – Dr McCall-Smith is a lecturer in Public International Law and programme director for the LLM in Human Rights. She is a US qualified lawyer and was awarded an LLM (2002) and a PhD (2012) for her thesis on ‘Reservations to Human Rights Treaties’ by the University of Edinburgh.  She interested in the role of the UN human rights treaty bodies as generators of law and the increasingly blurred distinction between public and private international law in terms of human rights protection is another of her research interests.

Registration is from 17:15. The talks will start at 17:30 and the evening will finish with a drinks reception from 19:00 to 19:30.

A map showing the venue can be found here The SPLG would like to thank Anderson Strathern for its generous support of this event.

We do not charge for attendance, but in return we ask that if you book a place and later find that you cannot attend, please cancel your place so that somebody on the waiting list is able to go instead. If you have any access, communication or other needs please contact