Are human rights part of Scotland’s constitutional future?

The importance of human rights in Scotland’s constitutional future will be debated at an event at Glasgow City Chambers on 1 May 2013.

The event will examine the impact that the independence debate has over human rights protections in Scotland.  How will the debate provide opportunities to further promote and protect human rights or will it provide new threats?

How those involved in civil society groups are working to promote and protect rights will be discussed as well as the extent to which the referendum context affects this work.

A panel debate will include Humza Yousaf MSP (SNP), James Kelly MSP (Scottish Labour Party), Annabel Goldie MSP (Scottish Conservative Party) and Patrick Harvie MSP (Scottish Green Party).

Other questions that will be considered include whether human rights are particularly served by one constitutional future or another? How might human rights be useful to articulating a vision of the future that might inform constitutional development in Scotland, whether through an on-going development of devolution, or an alternative constitutional future?

Dr Kurt Mills, Senior Lecturer in Politics said: “As we debate the future of Scotland, one extremely important question which is frequently overlooked is how any changes to Scotland's constitutional framework may affect the everyday lives of people in Scotland, and in particular how protections for fundamental human rights may or should change as a result of the referendum.

We have gathered together a distinguished group of activists, academics and politicians from across the political spectrum to consider the role of human rights in the referendum debate.

The discussion on 1 May will be forward looking, examining the possibilities and pitfalls of both outcomes of the referendum for human rights in Scotland, and will hopefully make a positive contribution to the referendum debate.”

The seminar is organised collaboratively by the Glasgow Human Rights Network,  the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum and the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and follows on from another seminar in March 2013 and a seminar organised by the Human Rights Consortium Scotland in December 2012.

Related Links

Dr Kurt Mills

Glasgow Human Rights Network

Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network

The event will take place on 1 May 2013 between 10-4pm at Glasgow City Chambers.

Registration for the event is now open via Eventbrite:

For more information contact Cara MacDowall in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535; 07875 203387 or email

First published: 24 April 2013

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