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.


1. National Performance Framework –Home –(www.nationalperformance.gov.scot)

2. Scotland’s second National Human Rights Action Plan – (www.snaprights.info)

3. First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership | Home –(www.humanrightsleadership.scot)

4. Terms of Reference of FMAG: First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership | Home –(www.humanrightsleadership.scot)

5. Incorporation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (pdf) –(www.ohchr.org) (UNCRC) is
already underway via the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill

6. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (pdf) –(www.ohchr.org)

7. The Scottish Government had previously accepted a recommendation from the National Council of Women and Girls to incorporate CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (pdf) (www.ohchr.org)) into domestic law. First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls –2018 First Report and Recommendations (pdf) –(www.onescotland.org) at page 19

8. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (pdf) -(www.ohchr.org)

9. Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities (pdf) –(www.ohchr.org)

10. This consultation uses the term “LGBTI”, with the “I” standing for “intersex”. The Scottish Government appreciates that some organisations and people prefer to use terms such as “differences of sex development” or “variations of sex characteristics” rather than “intersex”.

11. Human Rights Bill Lived Experience Board –gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

12. Human Rights Bill Governance and Engagement Advisory Board –gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

13. Human Rights Bill Governance and Engagement Executive Board - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

14. Minimum core obligations are the obligations on the State to ensure the satisfaction of minimum essential levels of a right.

15. General Comments | OHCHR: General Comments are a treaty body’s interpretation of human rights treaty provisions, thematic issues or its methods of work. Also called “general recommendations” (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women).

16. UN Treaty Body database search for concluding observations

17. See Part 3 for further detail about this treaty

18. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

19. The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment: (un.org)

20. Published in 2018 by the UN the Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment set out the basic obligations of States under human rights law as they relate to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

21. For the full list of substantive elements of the right to a healthy environment and further details of their content, the reports of the UN Special Rapporteur provide extensive guidance as to what is included within the human right. Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment | OHCHR

22. Article 14 of the ECHR also includes the ground of association with a national minority which is not explicitly referenced in Article 2 of ICESCR.

23. Scottish Government (2019), A Fairer Scotland for Older People: framework for action

24. United Nations Principles for Older Persons | OHCHR

25. The Scottish Government recognises that some organisations and people prefer to use terms such as “Variations of Sex Characteristics” and “Differences in Sex Development”, rather than “intersex”.

26. General comment No. 14: The right to the highest attainable (refworld.org)

27. We also note the role of Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body with regard to SPSO.

28. “Scrutiny bodies” is a broad and overlapping term, and can cover complaints-handling bodies (such as the SPSO), inspectorates and regulatory bodies (such as the Care Inspectorate, HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland and the Scottish Housing Regulator), but also other bodies which have an oversight role, such as the SHRC.

29. The requirements, and how they are articulated, may differ between different scrutiny bodies, partly depending on their existing requirements, and partly depending on any potential separate changes, such as in relation to the SPSO and SHRC. We will further consider exactly which scrutiny bodies any additional requirements could apply to.

30. Court of Session Act 1988 –(www.legislation.gov.uk) section 27B(2)(a), as amended by section 89 of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014.

31. To bring proceedings under the HRA, a person must be a victim for the purposes of Article 34 of the ECHR (Human Rights Act 1998 ss.7(1), (7)).

32. Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corp [1948] 1 K.B. 223

33. An Evaluation of the Obligation to Take Steps to the “Maximum of Available Resources” Under an Optional Protocol to the Covenant

34. The process for reviewing public decision-making in the domestic courts.

35. Rules of the Court of Session, Chapter 58

36. Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law | OHCHR

37. National Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-up: A Practical Guide to Effective State Engagement with International Human Rights Mechanisms | OHCHR


Email: HumanRightsOffice@gov.scot

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