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  • Scottish Government consultation: A Human Rights Bill for Scotland

    Created: 21/06/2023, Updated: 22/06/2023
    News/Events Category: General News

    The Scottish Government has begun a consultation that will inform how it takes forward a proposed Human Rights Bill.

    If passed, the Bill will become the first Act of the Scottish Parliament to focus on human rights. It seeks to entrench into Scots law- so far as is possible under the terms of devolution- a range of economic, social and cultural rights. It will enshrine domestically the terms of four United Nations treaties:

    • The International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
    • The International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
    • The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women
    • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    It will also look to recognise the climate emergency by creating a right to a healthy environment, in line with a motion of the UN General Assembly last year.

    The plans for the Human Rights Bill have developed from recommendations by the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership, itself a development proposed by a panel of human rights experts established in 2018.

    The Human Rights Act 1998 continues to apply in Scotland and may only be modified by an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament.


    Everyone with an interest in this subject is encouraged to have their say through the Scottish Government's consultation.

    Over the next sixteen weeks, the Government will organise a number of regional discussion events and publish information packs to allow community groups to hold their own listening exercises ahead of submitting a group response. Once the deadline has passed, the Government will take the results of the consultation to help it in drafting the new Bill. It is envisioned that the final reading of the Bill will be voted on by the end of the current parliamentary session in 2026.

    The consultation closes on Thursday 05 October 2023.

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