New Commissioners bring significant legal and practical expertise to Scottish Human Rights Commission

Two new part-time Commissioners, both with a strong track record of protecting human rights in practice, have been appointed to the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Following an open appointment process by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Susan Kemp and Dr Alan Mitchell have been appointed for six year terms, starting on 1 May 2015.  

Susan Kemp is an international human rights lawyer with wide-ranging experience of investigating human rights abuses. Dr Alan Mitchell is a practicing GP with extensive expertise in providing medical services to people in places of detention.

The new Commissioners will take up their posts as two of the Commission’s current members, Professor Kay Hampton and Shelagh McCall, come to the end of their appointments. Matt Smith OBE, appointed in September 2010, will continue as part time Commissioner until August 2017.

Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Commission, said:

“Human rights in Scotland are at an important junction, with both opportunities and challenges on the near horizon. Matt Smith and I look forward to working with Susan Kemp and Alan Mitchell to lead the next stage of the Commission’s work to realise human rights for everyone in Scotland.

“The contribution that Kay Hampton and Shelagh McCall have made to advancing human rights in Scotland since their appointments in 2008 has been tremendous. The effort, energy and expertise they have brought to their role as Commissioners has been instrumental in establishing the Scottish Human Rights Commission as an accredited A-status national human rights institution, and in developing and launching Scotland’s first ever National Action Plan for Human Rights.”

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  1. The Scottish Human Rights Commission is an independent public body with a statutory remit to promote and protect all human rights for everyone in Scotland. The Commission is accredited as an ‘A Status’ national human rights institution within the UN system.
  2. Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) was launched on 10 December 2013. SNAP brings together a wide range of public bodies and civil society organisations, as well as national and local government, to work on improving human rights in people’s everyday lives, building a better human rights culture and fulfilling Scotland’s international human rights obligations.
  3. Susan Kemp is an international human rights lawyer with wide-ranging experience of investigating human rights abuses and providing technical assistance to state prosecutors in Latin America, Africa and Europe. Qualified as a solicitor in Scotland, Susan has since worked as an Investigator with the International Criminal Court and as legal advisor to a range of civil society organisations in Scotland and overseas.
  4. Dr Alan Mitchell is a practicing GP who is currently Clinical Director within Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership. He works within Dungavel House Immigration Removal Centre, providing medical services to those held in immigration detention.  Alan has been engaged as an expert by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.