Postdoctoral Research Associate
The Human Rights Consortium Scotland commissioned this report in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland to explore the potential impact of the proposed Scottish Human Rights Bill for protecting the rights of Care Experienced people. The report focuses on the domestic and international law dimensions of this question, in order to understand how best to integrate Care Experienced people into the Bill as proposed. The report has three sections: • First, the report begins with an outline of the SHRB as it appears in the Consultation, identifying how it will change the actions of public authorities in Scotland and place human rights at the centre of decision-making and government. • Second, it considers evidence of the specific needs of Care Experienced people and the potential for the SHRB to better support the realisation of their human rights. • Finally, the report offers an analysis of four ways in which Care Experienced people could be offered specific protection under the SHRB. Care Experienced people, like many people who face disadvantage in Scotland, stand to benefit from the introduction of economic, social, and cultural rights into Scots law. Yet Care Experienced people also face specific forms of discrimination and embedded inequality which require particular consideration and targeted intervention. While recognition in guidance, international law, and outcome monitoring would go some way towards this goal, this report shows that the most secure way to ensure Care Experienced people’s rights are protected is to recognise them in the text of the Bill. To do so would be consistent with the Scottish Government’s wider efforts to keep its promise to Care Experienced people and make a real difference to the effective protection of their rights.
The original critique of human rights is well known. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, scholars drew attention to various blind spots in the human rights project. Feminists demonstrated its failure in representing and protecting women, just as parallel limitations were targeted by queer and disabled activists, finding powerful institutional battlegrounds in the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. TWAIL and post-colonial scholars critiqued the colonial imagery of ‘victims, savages and saviors’ that underpinned the movement, and many critiques intersected multiple communities.
Scholarship has generally represented moot court competitions in one of two ways: either as a beneficial way for students to develop practical skills prior to the Bar, or as a reproducer of hierarchy and exclusion. This review essay attempts to plot a third way of thinking about moots, one that finds critical potential in the exercise of mooting while remaining attentive to its conservative biases. Building out from a critique of the common law focus of Thomas and Cradduck’s The Art of Mooting, the essay reflects on how critical approaches to international law can be used to teach moot skills more effectively. The essay then turns to the limitations such a critical pedagogy must be aware of within the actual practice of the competition, considering how these limits can be navigated and even flipped into teachable moments for critically inclined students. The essay closes with a call for a more nuanced discussion about the use of experiential learning, of which moots are only one example, for fostering critical engagement with international law.