Incorporating Human Rights in Scotland
The First Minister of Scotland has committed to incorporating international children’s rights into domestic law, and the Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership has further recommended that Scotland should incorporate all human rights treaties. Recent research shows that incorporation is complex and that civil society groups are often confused by how incorporation can be done and what it can achieve in practice.
Working with key partners (Human Rights Consortium Scotland, Amnesty Scotland and Together), this project brings academic research together with civil society expertise to develop a framework for best practice on incorporation, ensuring that civil society organisations have the information and training they need in order to influence key decision-makers.
Led by Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, the overall aim of this project is to develop a best practice framework, using international examples of incorporation across different human rights sectors, to be used by civil society human rights groups in Scotland, which will include:
- Identifying gaps in relation to civil society’s understanding of the legal process of incorporation of treaties into domestic law;
- Co-developing training materials with project partners to aid civil society organisations’ advocacy on incorporation, including to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament;
- Delivering training to civil society organisations across different sectors which will aid them in strategic planning and advocacy for human rights treaty incorporation; and
- Disseminating best practice treaty incorporation to wider groups of policymakers in collaboration with project partners.
This project is funded by an ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant.
Watch Dr Kasey McCall-Smith discuss the project:
In November 2019, the Incorporating Human Rights in Scotland project held a scoping workshop, which was designed to identify gaps in relation to civil society's understanding of the legal process of incorporation of treaties into domestic law.
Incorporating Human Rights in Scotland Workshop
The Incorporating Human Rights in Scotland Workshop was held at the University of Edinburgh on 27 February 2020 for civil society human rights groups in Scotland.
Dr Kasey McCall-Smith: What is incorporation and why does it matter?
Sofie Quist & Veronica Luhtanen: Incorporation in context: Lessons from other countries
Strengthening the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill (Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, 8 October 2020)
Scotland Poised to Deliver Maximal Protection of Children’s Rights (Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, 8 October 2020)
The Added Benefit of Incorporating ICERD in Scotland (Emma Sullivan, 6 July 2020)
Human Rights in Scots Law: Building Bridges Between Civil Society, Government and the Academy (Veronica Luhtanen and Sofie Quist, 19 December 2020)
Incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots Law: What, How and Why? (Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, 29 August 2019)
International human rights law - a summary (Download PDF)
International human rights - a summary - EasyRead version (Download PDF)
What is incorporation? (Download PDF)
What is incorporation? - EasyRead version (Download PDF)
Different models of incorporation (Download PDF)
Timeline of human rights in Scotland and the United Kingdom (Download PDF)
Timeline of human rights in Scotland and the United Kingdom - EasyRead version (Download PDF)
Reports and publications
Incorporation of the CERD and CRPD and Equivalent Rights Provision for LGBTI Communities and Older Persons for the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership by Prof. Nicole Busby and Dr Kasey McCall-Smith (Scottish Government website)
Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS) birefing papers - by Dr Kasey McCall-Smith (all links to HRCS website)
- Incorporation of International Human Rights Briefing Series: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
- Incorporation of International Human Rights Briefing Series: The Right to an Adequate Standard of Living
- Incorporation of International Human Rights Briefing Series: The Right to Health
- Incorporation of International Human Rights Briefing Series: The Right to Take Part in Cultural Life
- Incorporation of International Human Rights Briefing Series: The Right to Social Security
Incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People into Scots Law - Dr Kasey McCall-Smith commissioned by the ALLIANCE and Inclusion Scotland (Health and Social Care Alliance Website)
Minimum Standards for Delivering Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, briefing paper for the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership (Scottish Government website)
Incorporation case study examples
Iceland as an example (Download PDF)
Iceland brief (Download PDF)
Norway as an example (Download PDF)
Norway brief (Download PDF)
South Africa as an example (Download PDF)
South Africa Brief (Download PDF)
Switzerland as an example (Download PDF)
Switzerland Brief (Download PDF)
Additional project resources
Glossary of Key Terms (Download PDF)
Best Practice Framework from International Examples (Download PDF)