Bruce is the Commission’s legal officer with responsibility for managing the use of legal powers. He is originally from Wellington, New Zealand, where he practised as a barrister and solicitor before moving to Scotland in 2002. He worked for the Scottish Parliament and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People before joining the Commission as a founding member of staff in October 2008.
Since 2004 Bruce has been a member of Scotland’s Children’s Panel, a tribunal which deals with children who have committed offences or who are in need of care and protection. He is also the Chair of the Board of the Trustees of the Scottish Child Law Centre, a charity which provides legal advice and training on Scots law and children's rights.
Bruce has degrees in law and history from Te Whare Wananga o Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui / Victoria University of Wellington. He has diplomas in the International Protection of Human Rights from Åbo Akademi University, Finland, and in Human Rights Litigation from the Central European University, Hungary. Bruce qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2004, and in Scotland in 2006.
Bruce was an independent expert on Fundamental Rights for the European Commission’s peer review missions to Turkey and Ukraine in 2011, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2012, and to Montenegro and Serbia in 2013. In 2014 he was an independent expert on a joint project between the European Union and the Council of Europe on enhancing human rights protection in Kosovo with a particular focus on the prevention of torture. He also acted as a senior international expert on a project establishing a National Human Rights Indicators system in Serbia.
Bruce acted as the Coordinator of the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions (now the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI)) from May 2011 until the establishment of the Permanent Secretariat in February 2013. He is a member of ENNHRI’s Legal Working Group which makes amicus curiae submissions to the European Court of Human Rights and has observer status at the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Human Rights.
From March to November 2013 Bruce was seconded to be the Geneva Representative for the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC) based in the United Nations Office at Geneva.
He has been a contributing author to a number of books, including National Human Rights Institutions in Europe: Comparative, European and International Perspectives.
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