Scottish Parliament re-nominates Chair

The Scottish Parliament yesterday (5 February 2013) voted unanimously to re-nominate Professor Alan Miller to the role of Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Dave Stewart MSP moved the re-nomination vote on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), and said in the Chamber: “The creation of the Scottish Human Rights Commission by this very Parliament in 2006 is an example of devolution at its best: outward looking, internationalist and fighting the corner for the powerless, the poor and the dispossessed. The Scottish Human Rights Commission has been a success story.

“In 2010, it received A status and was recognised as fully compliant with the UN principles on the status of national institutions, which brings with it international recognition and speaking rights at the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies. In 2011, Scotland was elected chair of the European group of national human rights institutions.

“We undoubtedly have a strong team of commissioners and staff. I place on record the recognition by Parliament of Professor Alan Miller, chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, who is in the gallery this afternoon. He is a well-respected figure in the international human rights world and his reputation projects influence on the world stage.”

The nomination from the Scottish Parliament is now put to Her Majesty the Queen for reappointment to a second term, that runs from March 2013 until March 2016.

Yesterday the Scottish Parliament also debated a wide range of human rights in a Scottish Government debate (S4M-05556) on ‘promoting and protecting human rights in Scotland, Europe and the wider world’. The debate included contributions from all political parties, and MSPs raised issues including welfare reform, the rights of victims of crime, equality, and international human rights issues including the Arab Spring.

Read the pre-debate briefing from the Commission to MSPs in Word format.

Several MSPs welcomed the development of Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights.

An amendmentto the debate by Jenny Marra MSP on human trafficking was also unanimously approved.

A full transcript of the debate can be accessed here.