Edinburgh University students present research findings to Scottish Government

Date: 1st May 2020
Category: Incorporation

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Together has been working with the University of Edinburgh to co-deliver the Human Rights Clinic course.  The aim of the project was to support Scottish Government’s understanding about where current law can be improved as it develops legislation to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law.

Under the supervision of Together’s Director, Juliet Harris, and the Programme Director of the LLM in Human Rights, Dr Kasey McCall-Smith, the student’s research examined how courts in Scotland and the UK use the UNCRC to decide cases affecting children. The group compared this to the use of the UNCRC in similar cases in foreign jurisdictions. The overall aim of this project was to demonstrate where gaps in existing law could be filled by the UNCRC to better promote and protect the rights of children.

The presentations discussed  children’s right to be heard and its implementation in In each area, the students drew a comparison between the existing law and judicial opinions, and the rights set out in the UNCRC. These presentations offered insight on how the outcome may have improved if the UNCRC had been fully incorporated in the decision-making process. Each student offered recommendations to the Scottish Government, which included the head of the children’s incorporation bill team and members of Scottish Government’s legal directorate assigned to the bill’s development. The recommendations made were about how to holistically implement the UNCRC for the judiciary, law and policy makers and practitioners.