News and Activities

Human Rights After Brexit: Gaps? Enforcement? Progress?

Thursday 26  February 2018

Anticipating the loss of the EU rights framework (in particular the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights) after Brexit, this roundtable considered the future of human rights protection in Scotland and the UK. At the heart of this examination were questions surrounding rights implementation, rights enforcement and how progress in human rights protection may continue. This event explored the Scottish, UK and international dimensions of rights protection, seeking to stimulate debate on practical ways forward.


Prof Alan Miller
Chair of the First Minster of Scotland’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership

Prof Nicole Busby
Professor of Law · University of Strathclyde

Jonathan Cooper OBE
Human Rights Barrister · Doughty Street Chambers

Emma Ritch
Executive Director · Engender

Maria Fletcher
| Chair
Senior Lecturer in Law · University of Glasgow and Director of SULNE

Co-organised with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Centre on European Relations.


Brexit, EU Citizenship and Future Immigration Policy: What’s Left to Play For?

Thursday 8 February 2018


Conor James McKinney (Deputy Editor, Free Movement)

Agreed points in the negotiations so far and what to expect for EU citizens and rights

Dr Charlotte O’Brien (Senior Lecturer in Law, University of York)

Brexit, EU citizens and social rights

Jen Ang (Director and Solicitor, JustRight Scotland)

Lived experience of ‘at-risk’ EEA nationals in the Brexit era

Dr Sarah Kyambi (Consultant and Expert on Immigration Policy, affiliated to the University of Edinburgh)

Future immigration policy and options for Scotland

Co-organised with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Scottish Centre on European Relations.


Brexit and cross-border criminal justice and law enforcement: impacts and issues for Scotland

Friday 26 January 2018

This round-table was the fourth in a series of events organised by SULNE and funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, on the legal consequences of Brexit. Held at the Scottish Parliament, it was organised in collaboration with Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).


The Politics of Brexit: What Future for European Free Movement and Labour Standards?

Dr Charles Woolfson, Linköping University, Sweden
23 November 2017

Charles Woolfson is Professor Emeritus of Labour Studies at the Institute for Research in Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), at Linköping University, Sweden.


Launch of the ‘Civil Society Brexit Project’

Maria Fletcher (University of Glasgow, School of Law) discusses the launch of the ‘Civil Society Brexit Project’, a collaboration between Human Rights Consortium Scotland and SULNE, funded by Legal Education Scotland.

Watch the video:


‘European Constitutional Law: The End of an Idea?’

Professor Jörg Terhechte (Vice-President, Leuphana University)

Wednesday 18 October

This event was part of a series of seminars supported by the International Law Association (British Branch) and was organised by the International Law, Conflict and Security Research Group at the University of Glasgow, School of Law.


‘SULNE Workshop on Brexit: Rights and Citizenship’

Thursday 14 September 2017

Read the Conference Briefing Report


Rights (I)

  • Human Rights (Prof. Jim Murdoch – University of Glasgow)
  • European Union [Withdrawal] Bill (Dr Tobias Lock – University of Edinburgh)
  • Update from the Standing Council on Europe (Prof. Alan Miller – Member of the Standing Council)
  • Discussant (Kavita Chetty – Scottish Human Rights Commission)

Rights (II)

  • Equality rights (Prof. Nicole Busby – University of Strathclyde/ Muriel Robison University of Glasgow)
  • Employment rights and Brexit (Dr Rebecca Zahn – University of Strathclyde)
  • Discussant (Suzanne Craig – Unison)

Citizenship (I)

  • General paper on EU citizenship (Nina Miller Westoby – University of Glasgow)
  • Secondary EU citizenship rights Family members & Political rights (Prof Eleanor Spaventa – University of Durham)
  • Brexit and Nationality Law (Prof Bernard Ryan – University of Leicester)
  • Discussant (Rosie Sorrell – Solicitor, Ethnic Minorities law Centre)

Citizenship (II)

  • Feasibility of alternatives and general remarks (Prof. Dagmar Schiek – Queen’s University, Belfast)
  • Closing


Brexit needs civil society voices

Thursday 7 September 2017

Civil society in Scotland has a vital role to play in the Brexit process and must make their voice heard, says Mhairi Snowden, Coordinator of the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and one of the organisers behind the Civil Society Brexit Project.

On the day that the EU Withdrawal Bill reaches Stage Two at Westminster, the Civil Society Brexit Project is being launched in Scotland.  This project is a collaboration between the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE) and the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, and funded by the Legal Education Foundation.  It will use events, resources and independent advice to make sure that civil society organisations in Scotland are able to influence Brexit as much as possible.  The Project will also help organisations to prepare for Brexit consequences for themselves or their service users.

Mhairi went on to say,

“The Brexit process is complicated, fast-paced and full of uncertainties.  It is no wonder then, that many organisations struggle to get to grips with it.

“If civil society organisations don’t get heard in Brexit decision-making, then the voices of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people risk being sidelined and their rights ignored.

“The Civil Society Brexit Project will give essential information and advice on Brexit, so that organisations can speak up loudly and confidently for the rights of those that they work with.”

Maria Fletcher, Director of SULNE and Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Glasgow, added:

“Legal academics from across Scotland’s universities are keen to share their expertise with organisations that represent communities and interests the length and breadth of the country.

“The effects of Brexit will be considerable and far-reaching: pooling knowledge and working collaboratively in the common interest has rarely been so important.”

Find out more about the Project at Human Rights Consortium Scotland.  Reserve a place at an upcoming event in October/November here.


‘Re-visiting and re-imagining borders after Brexit’ round-table event

On Monday 12 June, the second in a series of round-table events organised by SULNE took place at the University of Glasgow.

Funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the event series investigates the legal consequences of Brexit.  Monday’s event explored the topic of re-visiting existing border arrangements in the light of Brexit.

A significant part of the European project is based on the fundamental idea that internal borders should be porous to allow for freedom of movement, and external borders should be strengthened. Recently this concept has been challenged physically and conceptually. It has always been the case that the UK has engaged only in part in the EU project to soften internal and strengthen external borders, but the UK vote to leave the EU raises new questions about borders.

The workshop examined the concept of the border from a legal, political and historical perspective, addressing questions including the border with Ireland and intra-UK borders.  Topics discussed included freedom of movement of EU migration from a Scottish perspective and implications of Brexit on Irish border matters.

Read the summary paper of the event: Re-visiting and Re-imagining Borders after Brexit – Event Briefing