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Reference group

Lord Bracadale alone was responsible for the conduct and conclusions of the Review. A reference group wasset up to provide a range of knowledge, experience  and understanding as proposals were developed on a wide range of issues which may potentially affect a wide range of people. Members brought a broad mix of relevant skills and objectivity and were not representative of particular interests.

The reference group’s role was to:

  • Provide independent expert advice and knowledge of the policy,  legislative background and practice of existing hate crime legislation
  • Provide understanding of the issues involved and the impact that the current legislation and any changes proposed has/may have on communities
  • Help to ensure that all interested parties can engage with the review process through the evidence gathering and consultation phases
  • Provide scrutiny and challenge throughout  the review process to ensure that recommendations produced are robust, holistic and achievable


The reference group will meet as a group 6 times during the course of the review.  The meetings werre held at key stages of the review in order to discuss, test and offer advice on methodology and Lord Bracadale’s developing thoughts in relation to the review’s recommendations.

Lord Bracadale also sought input by email or telephone on an ad hoc basis.


Steve Allen

Steve Allen served 30 years in the police service, retiring as a Deputy Chief Constable with Police Scotland in 2015.  Prior to police reform he was the national lead for equality and diversity issues and pioneered the development and introduction of Critical Incident Training, which saw officers and community members learning alongside each other and understanding the power of different perspectives to shape appropriate and effective police responses. Steve was also responsible for the safety and security of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. As a Commander in the Metropolitan Police Steve had responsibility between 2003-2007 for the police response to hate crime across London and dealt with numerous race-related employment issues. As Commander of the City of Westminster in 2007 he continued to address a range of issues affecting minority communities in central London and to find opportunities for young people to make a contribution to policing. Between 2006 and 2009 Steve was the national lead for Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage and was responsible for developing and launching the first UK wide national policing strategy on these issues.

James Chalmers

James Chalmers was appointed to the Regius Chair of Law at the University of Glasgow in 2012, having previously taught at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Professor Chalmers' research is primarily in the area of criminal law, evidence and procedure. His published books include Gordon’s Criminal Law of Scotland, Vol II (4th edn, 2017, with Fiona Leverick), Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland (4th edn, 2015 and 3rd edn, 2009, both with Margaret Ross), The New Law of Sexual Offences in Scotland (2010), Legal Responses to HIV and AIDS (2008) and Criminal Defences and Pleas in Bar of Trial (2006, with Fiona Leverick). He has published over 80 book chapters and articles in a wide range of journals.

Ian Cruickshank

Ian Cruickshank is a solicitor advocate with over 25 years working in the legal profession.  Ian has extensive experience in all criminal matters, having represented clients charged with crimes ranging from murder to traffic offences.  Ian is a former council member of the Law Society of Scotland.  He continues to be a member of several Law Society Committees. Presently, he is the Convener of the Criminal Law Committee of the Law Society of Scotland.  Ian  also has wide and varied experience in civil litigation in the Sheriff Court.  He is on the panel of Curators Ad Litem providing reports for the assistance of the Court at Elgin.  In addition, he is one of only a few Scottish solicitors with experience representing military personnel in courts martial proceedings in venues throughout Scotland, England and Germany. Ian was appointed as a member of the reference group to Lord Bonomy’s Post Corroboration Safeguards Review (2014-15).

Catherine Dyer

Catherine Dyer was  Crown Agent between 2010 and 2016; she headed the legal staff in the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)  and was the  legal adviser to the Lord Advocate on prosecution matters.  During this time Catherine was the Diversity Champion for the Scottish Government.  She graduated from Glasgow University in 1982 and worked in private practice in Glasgow prior to joining COPFS as a fiscal depute in Kilmarnock in 1986. She has subsequently held posts in Hamilton, Glasgow, Crown Office, and Edinburgh prior to being appointed procurator fiscal for Linlithgow in 2000. She was appointed Director of Change Management in April 2002 and as senior assistant procurator fiscal at Glasgow in December 2002, before becoming area procurator fiscal there a year later – the most senior procurator fiscal post in the country.

Cathy Jamieson

Cathy Jamieson is the Managing Director of Care Visions Children’s Services, a leading provider of residential and foster care for children in Scotland. Elected to the Scottish Parliament as MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley in 1999, Cathy served in the Scottish Executive Cabinet as Minister for Education and Young People from 2001 -2003, and Minister for Justice between 2003 and 2007. She was MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun from 2010 -2015, during which time she served as Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Prior to her career in politics, Cathy held various frontline Social Work posts, and was Principal Officer of Who Cares? Scotland from 1992 to 1995. She was a member of the Inquiry into Abuse in Residential Care in Edinburgh. Cathy is a Board member of Scotwest Credit Union, and the Scottish Football Supporters Association.

Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC

Sheriff Johnston was a Procurator Fiscal Depute for nine years from 1982 and then spent 16 years in practice at the Scottish Bar, where she specialised in criminal law. She served as an Advocate Depute and then as a Senior Advocate Depute from 2000 to 2003. She took silk in 2003 and was appointed as a part-time Sheriff in the same year. She served as a shrieval convenor for the Mental Health Tribunal Scotland from 2003 to 2008. She was appointed as a full time Sheriff in 2008 and was appointed as a resident Sheriff in Glasgow in 2010, before being appointed as a Temporary High Court Judge in 2013.

Shelagh McCall QC

Shelagh McCall is a member of the Faculty of Advocates (called 2000, silk 2015).  She brings extensive experience of first instance and appellate advocacy. She has appeared in many high-profile, sensitive and complex cases – as leader, alone, and as junior. Her practice focuses on criminal law and human rights. She was formerly employed by the United Nations practising international criminal law and international humanitarian law. She was a part-time commissioner at the Scottish Human Rights Commission from 2008-2015. She is a part-time Sheriff and a legal member of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.

Alan McCloskey

Alan McCloskey is Director of Operations in Victim Support Scotland (VSS). Alan has strategic oversight and management of all Victim Support`s operational services in Scotland. He helps ensure that VSS is at the forefront of criminal justice system and that the needs of victims and witnesses are fully understood at Government and at local level while delivering real benefits and measurable outcomes for victims and witnesses of crime in Scotland.

He has extensive relevant professional experience and detailed knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice sector, coupled with a sound knowledge of current legislation and other CJS and social policy reforms. He led the Victim Support Scotland campaign that helped secure delivery of the EC Directive on Victims’ Rights through the Victims and Witnesses Act in Scotland. He engages effectively with internal and external stakeholders across the criminal justice sector, such as the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Copfs), Scottish Court and Tribunals Service (SCTS), Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and other voluntary sector agencies to influence positive change for victims and witnesses. Alan is responsible for the development and effective management of over 100 front line staff and over 600 volunteers within the court based Witness Service and the community based Victim Service across Scotland. Alan joined Victim Support Scotland in 2005 following a career in the Civil Service.

John Wilkes

John Wilkes is the Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland.   John has been Chief Executive Officer for the Scottish Refugee Council where he has worked since 2008, providing leadership and direction to the council whilst contributing significantly to the wider work of asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland. Prior to this, John was the Director of Scotland for the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Scottish Director of Carers UK. John has also wide experience of working in other areas of equality. He served on the boards of Stonewall and the Scottish Equality Network and is currently chair of the White Ribbon Scotland campaign.