Members for Scottish Commission for Human Rights announced to Parliament


Following the appointment of Professor Alan Miller as Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Right, Parliament was today informed of the three new part-time members who will complete the membership of the body created to promote and protect human rights in Scotland.

The three part-time members will be Professor Kay Hampton, Ms Shelagh McCall and Mr John McNeill. Each will be appointed for a fixed term of four years, with the possibility of renewal, and will work an average of 30 days per year.

The official opening of the office of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights will be on 20 June 2008 in Optima, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow.

Biographical information

Shelagh M McCall

Shelagh McCall holds degrees from the Universities of Edinburgh (Bachelor of Laws) and Strathclyde (Master of Laws). She began her career as a solicitor in East Lothian, specialising in criminal defence work. She was called to the Bar in 2000 where she was mainly instructed as defence counsel. She also, on occasion, represented the Crown as an advocate depute.

In January 2006, Shelagh joined the United Nations as a Prosecution appeals counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, where she has been handling appeals in cases of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. On taking up her appointment with the Commission, she will be returning to Scotland .

(Robert) John McNeill BA (Hons) MSc LLM MPhil

John McNeill has extensive experience of criminal justice practices throughout the United Kingdom. He has worked as a Probation Officer and Governor in the Northern Ireland Prison Service; as a Governor in the Scottish Prison Service (SPS); as Chief Executive of SACRO; and as the Depute Director/Acting Director in SPS responsible for regimes and healthcare. In addition, he has wide experience of governance informed by his work with a range of national and international non governmental organisations.

Prior to leaving SPS in July 2006, John led a multi disciplinary project in human rights and helped establish the Risk Management Authority (RMA). Thereafter, he continued to be active in criminal justice as a member of the Parole Board for England and Wales, the Probation Board Northern Ireland, RMA, and the Civil Nuclear Police Authority.

Professor Kay Hampton (BA, BA (hons), MA, PhD, FRSA, FHEA)

Kay Hampton is currently Professor in Communities and Race Relations in the School of Law and Social Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). She joined the University in 1994 as Research Fellow in the Scottish Ethnic Minorities Research Unit (SEMRU) and shortly after was made Research Director of the Unit.

From 2000, Kay lectured in Sociology at GCU (until 2005) and Criminology (since 2005), and is presently seconded to the University’s Organisational Development Department. She has also been employed by the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa (1978-1998) as a Sociology lecturer and researcher (Institute for Social and Economic Research) and the Durban Municipality Strategic Planning Unit as a Research Fellow (1990-1993), leading on research and policy for the post–apartheid era.

Since her arrival in Scotland in 1993, she has served on several management committees, trusts and NDPB boards in the field of inequality and disadvantage, including fundings bodies (Community Fund, now Big Lottery, Board Member and Scottish Chair,1998-2003; Wellcome Trust, Society Awards, 2001-2003; Nuffield Trust, Advisory forum, 2008-) and equality bodies (Trustee, Scottish Refugee Council, -2003-2005; Chair, Deputy Chair and Scottish Commissioner, Commission for Racial Equality, 2003-2007). She is currently a commissioner for The Equalities and Human Rights Commission UK and an Ambassador for BTCV, a UK environmental organisation.

Background information

The Scottish Commission for Human Rights Act 2006 provides for the establishment of a body corporate to be known as the Scottish Commission for Human Rights (SCHR). The Commission will promote widespread awareness, understanding of, and respect for, human rights.

The three part-time members of the Commission are expected to take up their posts shortly. Working an average of 30 days per year, the daily rate for these positions is £250, plus expenses.

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