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Comment on Scottish Government paper

Date: 5 February 2013

Today the Scottish Government has published a paper - ‘Scotland’s Future: from the referendum to independence and a written constitution’ . 

The Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission Professor Alan Miller has responded to the paper, saying: "I very much welcome this further contribution to the debate on the place of human rights in Scotland's potential constitutional framework following the referendum.

“I particularly welcome the emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights - such as the progressive realisation of rights to adequate housing, to education, the highest attainable standard of health, and social security. These have been internationally recognised human rights for nearly 65 years and form part of the constitutions of many other countries. The UK has itself ratified such treaties but has been consistently criticised by the UN for failing to incorporate them into domestic law. These rights are particularly important in times of economic austerity, establishing an objective basis for fair prioritisation of restricted resources.

“As Scotland's national human rights institution, SHRC will this Spring publish guidance on how best to realise human rights in Scotland's constitutional future whatever the outcome of the referendum. I look forward to engaging with all points of view in the constitutional referendum debate to ensure that human rights is further embedded in Scotland's constitutional framework."