In light of the coronavirus pandemic the SPLG was unfortunately unable to host an in-person conference in 2020. However, we have endeavoured to adapt and have produced what we hope is an adequate substitute to fulfil your public law needs until we can next gather in person.

We’ve arranged for a series of expert speakers to prepare webinars, which are linked below and grouped thematically.

The first conference “session” that is being released is a look at the exciting developments in human rights incorporation taking place in Scotland. A future “session” will provide an update of key Scots public law cases and cases from the rest of the UK over the last year, along with discussion on the Independent Review on Administrative Law.

We’re beyond grateful for our speakers taking the time to prepare and deliver the webinars and to Ewan Stewart of Prickly Thistle Video in helping produce the videos.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the webinars or ideas for future webinars or events. Please contact

Human Rights Incorporation

In a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic it can be easy to gloss over the Scottish Government’s introduction of the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament in September 2020. The Bill seeks to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots law and highlights a number of fascinating public law issues – from the need for public authorities (and public lawyers) to understand the requirements of the UNCRC; the challenges and methods of incorporating the UN human rights treaties into domestic law to considerations of the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament; and the question of whether the Parliament can bind itself.

The following talks explore the issues and opportunities presented by the incorporation of the UNCRC and other international human rights instruments.

The human rights session consists of around 2 hours of learning.

Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, with Coll McCail and Maria McGoldrick, Young Advisors with the Commissioner’s office

Bruce Adamson is the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland. In this presentation he is joined by two of his young advisors to discuss what they describe as “the huge opportunity we have in Scotland through the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Bruce examines the Bill currently before the Scottish Parliament to bring the Convention into domestic law and what might be done to strengthen it as well as considering what it might mean in practice.


Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights at Durham University

Professor Aileen McHarg examines the questions around legislative competence highlighted by the UNCRC Bill, with a focus on the question of whether the Scottish Parliament can bind itself and its successors.


Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, Senior Lecturer in Public International Law at the University of Edinburgh

Dr Kasey McCall-Smith discusses the incorporation of the UN Human Rights Treaties into the domestic law of the UK and Scotland, with a particular focus on the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights’ recommendations and the work of the National Taskforce for Human Rights.


Professor Gráinne McKeever, Professor of Law and Social Justice at Ulster University

Professor McKeever discusses how the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 has embedded the principles of dignity and respect into the Scottish social security system. She begins by considering how these principles can be defined, before moving on to consider how they are being put into operation and protected, with a focus on oversight, scrutiny, and review.


Public Law Updates

Coming soon!