John Griffiths AM


Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee

National Assembly for Wales


CF99 1NA


Via email only










28 January 2018


Dear John Griffiths AM, 

Getting Rights Right - Inquiry into Human Rights and the Scottish Parliament  


Last year the Equalities and Human Rights Committee held an inquiry into human rights within the Scottish Parliament. This inquiry fulfils recommendation 30 of the independent Commission on Parliamentary Reform’s Report, which asked the Committee to investigate how the Scottish Parliament’s role as a human rights guarantor could be strengthened.

Our Report sets out a road map for human rights in the Scottish Parliament. It addresses how the Committee will approach the subject of human rights within its remit and identifies further areas for inquiry. We have asked for Standing Orders to be amended to make human rights a mandatory subject matter.

The Committee also makes a number of recommendations directed at the Scottish Parliament, its Parliamentary Committees, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Human Rights Commission as you’ll see from our Summary of Recommendations.

I also draw to your attention the Report of the First Minister’s independent Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, published 10 December, which recommends an Act of the Scottish Parliament to provide a framework for human rights. This Bill is anticipated to be introduced in the next session of the Parliament.

The Committee also held an event “Human Rights Take Over!”, which launched the Committee’s Report in December 2018. I’ve included a link to the video of the event where you can listen to the speeches and panel session, which set out progress in Scotland and current human rights concerns.

We believe implementing the recommendations in our Report will put the Scottish Parliament at the forefront of international best practice on human rights.


I’d be happy to discuss any of the recommendations set out in our Report in more detail.


Yours sincerely,




Ruth Maguire MSP


Equalities and Human Rights Committee