Parliament to approve appointment of Chair of Scottish Commission for Human Rights


Parliament will be asked on Thursday 29 November to approve the nomination of Professor Alan Miller as the Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights.

Created under the powers of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights Act 2006, the Chair will be an independent officeholder, nominated by the Scottish Parliament for appointment by Her Majesty the Queen.

Working with three part-time commission members (who will be recruited early next year), the Commission will promote widespread awareness, understanding of, and respect for human rights; review and recommend changes to any policies or practices of any Scottish public authorities and provide advice and guidance.

Prof Miller’s appointment, if agreed by Parliament, will be for a fixed term of five years with the possibility of renewal for one further four year term. The full-time position attracts a salary of £75,000 per annum.

Biographical information

Prof Miller has a combination of experience and expertise in the field of human rights grounded in 25 years involvement with the legal, academic and voluntary communities within Scotland . 

He is currently Director of McGrigors Rights, a human rights law consultancy, and a Visiting Professor of Law, specialising in human rights, at the University of Strathclyde. In this role he has assisted public authorities develop best practice in compliance with the Human Rights Act, including at the State Hospital at Carstairs, and teaches on the Human Rights LLM programme. 

Previously he ran a law practice in Castlemilk, Glasgow and is a past President of the Glasgow Bar Association. From 1985 - 2000 he served in a voluntary capacity as Chair of the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties and its successor, the Scottish Human Rights Centre. 

Prof Miller also brings an international perspective and insight gained from engagement with the UN and other bodies in capacity-building initiatives in around 20 countries around the world.

This includes recently working with Iraqi, Sudanese and Palestinian lawyers, as well as being expert adviser to the global Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights led by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Text of motion to be approved by Parliament on 29 November:

That the Parliament nominates Professor Alan Miller to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as Chair of the Scottish Commission for Human Rights.

Subject to Parliament’s approval, Prof Miller is expected to take up his post, early next year, at the time of the appointment of the three members of the Commission.

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