Statement on Supreme Court judgment on UNCRC (Incorporation) Scotland Bill

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has made the following statement:

"The UK Supreme Court judgment on the UNCRC (Incorporation) Scotland Bill makes clear there is no issue with the Scottish Parliament’s decision to incorporate internationally protected children’s rights into Scots law. This means that, subject to the limits of devolved competence, international human rights law can be made justiciable in devolved areas, like social care, education, housing or criminal justice, and in relation to devolved institutions. There is a strong ambition across Scotland to see the rights of children and young people advanced in these areas and today’s judgment does not override that ambition.   

"The Supreme Court has said, however, that certain provisions of the bill are outside of devolved competence, in so far as they extend to UK legislation and UK public bodies. The Commission urges the Scottish Government to remedy these issues as soon as possible to ensure children’s rights are protected with maximum effect within devolved competence.

"Meanwhile, the Commission also urges the Scottish Government to continue with its plans to strengthen the implementation of children’s rights in practice. We support the ongoing work of children and young people, their advocates and supporters in the children’s sector and the work of the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland in taking this forward.  We also want to see the government push on with the development of a transformative new Human Rights Bill which incorporates other international treaties into Scots law. The comprehensive protection of everyone’s rights in law, together with strong implementation and accountability, will build a human rights culture where everyone can flourish and live better lives. "

Scottish Human Rights Commission