Bruce Adamson of Scottish Human Rights Commission to be nominated as next children's commissioner

Written by Jenni Davidson on 10 March 2017 in News

Adamson is set to replace Tam Baillie, who will finish his six year term in the role in May 2017

Bruce Adamson - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

Bruce Adamson is set to replace Tam Baillie as commissioner for children and young people in Scotland.

MSPs will be asked to approve his nomination for the appointment in a motion to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Adamson is currently a legal officer at the Scottish Human Rights Commission, where he represents the commission on the UK’s National Preventive Mechanism under the Convention Against Torture.  


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Originally from New Zealand, he has over 20 years of experience working as a lawyer in children’s rights, practising in the family and criminal courts in New Zealand before moving to Scotland in 2002.

Adamson has been a member of the Children’s Panel for 13 years, working with vulnerable children and their families, and he has also been on advisory boards for a number of public bodies and other organisations, as well as being a former chair of the Scottish Child Law Centre.

In 2013 he was the United Nations representative for the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, representing institutions from over 100 countries to improve human rights in Scotland and across the world.

He has also acted as an international expert for the Council of Europe, the European Union and the OSCE, working in emerging democracies in the Western Balkans and Ukraine, as well as having been involved in a number of international projects.

The children’s commissioner role involves promoting and safeguarding the rights of children and young people in Scotland. 

The commissioner has statutory powers to undertake investigations into whether a service provider has taken the rights, interest and views of children and young people into account when making decisions or taking action that affects children and young people.   

These powers will be extended this year, giving the commissioner the power to carry out an investigation into a matter raised by an individual child or young person, as well as groups of children or children and young people in general.

The position is a full-time, single term appointment for six years with a salary of £70,000.

Current children’s commissioner Tam Baillie leaves the position on 17 May 2017 after six years in the role. 

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