Faculty welcomes creation of human rights National Taskforce

Euan Mackenzie QC

Plans to set up a National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership have been applauded by the Faculty of Advocates’ Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee (HRRoL).

The Scottish government says the taskforce is to be co-chaired by Shirley Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, and Professor Alan Miller of Strathclyde University.

Its purpose will be to “ensure Scotland is a world leader in putting human rights into practice”.

Announcing the taskforce’s creation, Ms Somerville said: “I am delighted to announce the establishment of Scotland’s new National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership.

“I am pleased that Professor Alan Miller has agreed to serve as the independent co-chair. Professor Miller has had a distinguished career as an advocate for human rights both in Scotland and at international level.

“I look forward to working closely with him to deliver a new statutory framework that ensures everyone in our society can live with human dignity and enjoy their rights in full.”

Professor Miller said: “There is an urgent need for human rights leadership in today’s world. The leadership steps to be taken in and by Scotland are clear.

“It is therefore a welcome responsibility to have been asked to co-chair the National Task Force for Human Rights Leadership. I look forward to working with my co-chair and with people from all walks of life to improve the everyday lives of everyone and to help make Scotland a better country in a better world.

“In taking on this role I pay tribute to the human rights commitment already demonstrated by the Scottish Government, and also by the Parliament and the wider public sector in Scotland.”

Euan Mackenzie QC, of HRRoL, said: “The announcement of the National Taskforce is welcome news for the future of human rights in Scotland. The creation of enforceable rights in areas such as housing, health and social security will make a real difference to people’s lives. 

“Alongside the work already under way to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the National Taskforce will cement Scotland’s ambition to provide human rights leadership in these challenging times.

“We look forward to engaging with others in this important work.”

Tags: human rights

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