National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership


The National Taskforce for Human Rights was established in early 2019, in response to the recommendations made in December 2018 by the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights, and to prioritise actions that address the human rights and equality impacts of Brexit in Scotland. 

The National Taskforce for Human Rights is made up of members from the public sector and civil society. It is co-chaired by the Social Security and Older People Cabinet Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville and Professor Alan Miller, Professor of Practice in Human Rights Law, University of Strathclyde and Special Envoy of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.

The Taskforce will work to establish a statutory framework for human rights that can bring internationally recognised human rights into domestic law and protect the human rights of every member of Scottish Society. 

The Taskforce is currently in the early stages of developing this new human rights framework, and is working with a wide range of representatives from the public sector, civil society and other human rights experts to determine what will go into the framework in relation to specific rights.

Programme of Engagement

We maintain a list of past and upcoming stakeholder engagement events.

Other useful links

Human Rights Leadership





Taskforce role

Shirley-Anne Somerville

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People

Government Co-chair

Prof Alan Miller

Professor of Practice in Human Rights Law, University of Strathclyde and Special Envoy of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.

Independent Co-chair

Christina McKelvie

Minister for Older People and Equalities

Portfolio Minister with responsibility for Human Rights

Claire Sweeney Director for Place and Wellbeing at Public Health Scotland

Member representing Public Health Scotland

Murray Hunt

Barrister specialising in Human Rights, and Legal Adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Rule of Law

Independent Member

Fiona Killen

Solicitor, Law Society of Scotland

Member representing Law Society Scotland

Prof Elisa Morgera

Co-Director of Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance

Independent Member

Nils Muižnieks

Former Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Independent Member

Cllr Kelly Parry

Councillor and COSLA’s spokesperson for community well-being

Member representing COSLA

Alastair Pringle

Executive Director Corporate Delivery and Scotland, Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Scotland

Member representing EHRC Scotland

Judith Robertson

Chair, Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC)

Member representing SHRC

Mhairi Snowden

Co-ordinator Human Rights Consortium Scotland

Member representing the Consortium and civil society interests

Academic Advisory Panel

An Academic Advisory Panel of experts in key areas has been established to support the National Taskforce by considering some of the legal complexities involved in translating international human rights treaties into domestic legislation. The Academic Advisory Panel will provide the Taskforce with briefings on a number of areas, including  the scope and content of an equality clause, the relevant rights and their content, and the various duties arising. 

Members of the Academic Advisory Panel:



Panel Role

Professor Nicole Busby

University of Glasgow. Professor of Human Rights, Equality and Justice.


Dr Katie Boyle

University of Stirling. Specialism: models of incorporation of international human rights.


Professor Tobias Lock

Maynooth University, Ireland. Specialism:  EU Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. 


Dr Kasey McCall-Smith

University of Edinburgh. Specialism: the  international human rights treaty system. 


Dr Elaine Webster

University of Strathclyde. Specialism: the concept of human dignity in human rights law.