A Human Rights Bill for Scotland: consultation

The Scottish Government is gathering views to help inform how we will take forward the Human Rights Bill. The Bill will incorporate a range of economic, social and cultural rights into Scots law for the first time, as far as possible within the limits of devolved competence.

Part 10: Next Steps

This part of the consultation sets out next steps following the publication of this document.

The Consultation

Human Rights Taskforce Recommendation 27

The Scottish Government should adopt an innovative and human rights-based approach towards engaging the public in developing the framework including the guidance and its implementation.

The consultation will run for 16 weeks and close on Thursday 5 October 2023.

Everyone with an interest should have the opportunity to offer their views to inform this Bill. During the consultation period, the Scottish Government will make sure as many people as possible know about the consultation and are encouraged and supported to take part. This will include a series of regional discussion events with a focus on in-person meetings over a range of urban, rural and remote communities. We will seek to meet with specific rights groups who face historical and ongoing societal barriers to having their voice heard in public consultations. We will publish information packs so that community groups can hold their own discussions and, if they wish, submit a group response to the consultation. Across all this work we will maximise good use of accessibility resources so that as many people as possible are able to get involved.

The Advisory Board and Executive Board will continue to meet throughout the consultation period and over the rest of the Bill development process. They will help the Scottish Government stay in close contact with the broader network of Scotland's civil society, third sector and public authorities to prepare those sectors, as well as frontline public services, the judiciary, scrutiny bodies and others, to implement the Bill. We will continue to review the remit and membership of these groups to ensure they are fit for purpose as the Bill develops. We will remain open to engaging with organisations, community groups and individuals over and above our Boards and the engagement that will arise once the Bill is introduced to the Scottish Parliament. Our programme of activity to accompany the consultation, as well as the feedback we receive from the consultation itself, will help inform of us of where to place particular focus once the consultation analysis is complete.

It is also vital that we keep informing our work with the views of people with lived experience of facing barriers to accessing their human rights. The work of our Lived Experience Board has been hugely valuable and welcomed. A key point of learning we have heard consistently from each group in the Board is that the Scottish Government must demonstrate to each group how we have used the information they've shared with us. With this in mind, we have published a paper that responds to the Board's feedback. We also intend to meet each group of the Board to hear their feedback directly. The views of people with lived experience of human rights issues must continue to shape this Bill. This was a key recommendation of the Taskforce, and in working with the Lived Experience Board to develop the consultation we have seen the importance of public participation in real time. The contributions of the members of the Lived Experience Board helped bridge the gap between human rights as abstract concepts and the real impact felt in people's lives when their human rights are not fulfilled.

We are considering how best to renew and refresh our Lived Experience Board, ensuring that future work in this space helps to underpin effective Bill implementation for those who need it most.


Email: HumanRightsOffice@gov.scot

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