Incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Scotland

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Children’s rights have been a focus of the Scottish National Party’s governance platform for several years and have long featured in Scottish politics. In April 2019, the First Minister pledged that the government would incorporate the UNCRC during the parliamentary term that ended in March 2021. This presentation considers how Scotland has navigated its devolved competences to implement children’s rights obligations under the UNCRC. First, I will offer a brief overview of the legal settlement between the Scottish and UK governments and the growing attention on children’s rights in post-devolution Scotland. Next, I will introduce key features of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill (Incorporation Bill) and expand on how further entrenchment of the UNCRC in Scotland through full and direct incorporation has triggered a power struggle between the UK and Scottish governments leading to a judicial review of different aspects of the Incorporation Bill. Finally, focusing on a child’s right to participation I will illustrate examples of how different issues have been addressed by the UK and Scottish legal systems to the detriment of children’s rights thereby reinforcing the importance of maintaining key enforcement aspects of the Incorporation Bill.
Period13 Sep 2021
Event titleDevolution in the UK and International Law
Event typeSymposium
LocationUnited KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Incorporation
  • Human Rights
  • Devolution