Stan Naismith – Honorary Fellowship
Congratulations to Dr Stan Naismith, who was presented with an Honorary Fellowship from the University at its recent Senate Guest Night on Thursday 17 March.
Dr Naismith undertook his LLB at the School of Law in the 1970s, graduating in 1979. Following a period working as a solicitor in the west of Scotland, he returned to the University of Glasgow to undertake doctoral studies, graduating with his PhD in 1989.
His career has taken him from Glasgow to Strasbourg, where he currently holds the position of Section Registrar in the European Court of Human Rights.
He has helped support Professor Jim Murdoch in developing a unique learning opportunity for our LLB students: the European Human Rights Project. The project is a self-taught, group-based peer-assessed course that culminates in written and oral presentations in the Supreme Court in London and then at the ‘Grand Chamber’ hearing in Strasbourg Court before judges and senior Registry staff of the course, with Stan acting as 'President' for the EHRP moot court. Over the years, Stan has involved other senior Registry staff and – in time – also judges of the Court (including Vice-Presidents and Presidents of the Court). Judges elected in respect of the UK have been particularly supportive.
Without Dr Naismith’s longstanding support, our students would not have had access to this unique learning opportunity, developing participants' skills in research, oral and written advocacy, teamwork and self-assessment. Involvement in the project has continued, over the last three decades, to open doors for our graduates in terms of career possibilities and broadened horizons. EHRP alumni include: HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary; the current Solicitor-General; sheriffs; advocates and solicitors (many of whom now work in the field of human rights including staff of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Human Rights Commission); and civil servants working in a range of posts in Scotland and in London (and including the acting UK legal agent of cases brought against the UK). 285 alumni to date! Many have also had the opportunity after graduation to complete internships at the Council of Europe, and the Court has recently approached the School of Law with the proposal for an agreement to guarantee such placements in future years, one of only three such arrangements in place.
Stan will retire from his position as Registrar this April. It is not an understatement to say that Dr Naismith has kept the Glasgow flag flying in the European Court of Human Rights. It is fitting that the University recognise his distinguished career as a senior member of the Registry staff, but above all mark his contribution as a Glasgow graduate in helping deliver excellence in learning and teaching to later generations of students.
First published: 24 March 2022