Scotland’s human rights laws could be strengthened

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 5th November 2018

Debate around strengthening accountability for the implementation of international human rights standards has recently progressed.

A new report by Dr Katie Boyle, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Stirling, details how countries around the world, from Germany and Sweden to South Africa and Argentina, have stronger laws and stronger accountability processes for economic, social and cultural rights than exist in Scotland.

This means that people in Scotland have limited recourse to human rights laws when it comes to realising their economic, social and cultural rights. This accountability gap affects people’s rights to an adequate standard of living, health, housing, food and social security, among others.

The report, titled Models of Incorporation and Justiciability for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (this link will take you away from our website), seeks to set out some of the ways through which Scotland could incorporate economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights into the domestic legal framework.

Commenting on the report’s publication, Dr Boyle said: “Scotland can take the lead and demonstrate best practice in meeting international human rights obligations in devolved areas. Comparative research demonstrates that it is possible to incorporate international human rights standards, including economic, social and cultural rights, across our governance structures. Models of incorporation and justiciability mechanisms for ESC rights are key components of exploring these new avenues for human rights protection in Scotland.”

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