Meet the Scotland Committee

The Scotland Committee is a statutory decision-making committee and is responsible for ensuring the overall work of the Commission reflects the needs and priorities of the people of Scotland.

They come from all walks of life and bring with them a breadth of experience which has proved invaluable to the Commission.

The Committee sets the strategic direction and steers the Commission's work in Scotland through:

  • Developing the EHRC's Strategic and Corporate Plans, in particular in relation to Scotland
  • Developing and approving the Scotland Committee's work programme
  • Advising on the exercise of the Commission’s functions in so far as they affect Scotland

Read the Scotland Committee meeting minutes.

Scotland Commissioner and Chair of the Scotland Committee

Kaliani Lyle (Chair)

Kaliani Lyle

As Chair of the Scotland Committee, Kaliani Lyle is the Commissioner in Scotland and sits on the board of Commissioners headed by Baroness Onora O'Neill.

Kaliani was appointed as the new Scotland Commissioner in 2010, replacing Morag Alexander who had been Chair of the Scotland Committee since 2007. Kaliani was the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland between 1998 and 2010 and before that, was Chief Executive of the Scottish Refugee Council. She also worked for Edinburgh District Council as their first Race Relations Officer.

Kaliani was a member of the Independent Commission on the Future Delivery of Public Services in Scotland (Christie Commission) and currently sits on the Board of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. In 2007 she received the Alastair Hetherington award for humanitarian service by the Institute of Contemporary Scotland.

Kaliani leads the Scotland Committee which is involved in working strategically with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, UK Government and Parliament to ensure equality and human rights are at the heart of all work carried out.

Details of Committee members

Elaine Noad
Morag McLaughlin
Neelam Bakshi
Dr Donald Lyons
Colin Young
Des McNulty
Emma Ritch
Lorraine Barrie

Elaine Noad

Elaine spent most of her career in local government, with her last post being that of Director of Social Work, Housing and Health for South Ayrshire Council. She was Commissioner for Scotland for the Disability Rights Commission from 2000-2007, and Chair of the Disability Employment Advisory Committee from 2006-2009. Since 2006 she has held a number of non executive and voluntary posts in the public and voluntary sectors. Throughout her career and voluntary experience she has endeavoured to promote good practice in equalities and human rights.

Morag McLaughlin

Morag McLaughlin was Area Procurator Fiscal for Lothian and Borders before retiring from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in June 2011. In her 21 years as a prosecutor, she held several senior posts, including Head of Policy, leading on the formulation and implementation of departmental policy, and Area Procurator Fiscal for Grampian. In those roles she developed expertise in equality matters in relation to public service and the investigation and prosecution of crime.

Latterly she was appointed as COPFS corporate lead on equality, responsible for developing departmental strategy, chairing the departmental Equality Strategy Working Group, advising Scottish Law Officers and senior colleagues on equality matters and implementing the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

Neelam Bakshi

Neelam Bakshi is a freelance coach, management consultant and trainer.  She has over 20 years experience in the public sector. Neelam has extensive experience of governance as a non-executive director in the voluntary, academic and public sectors. She served as a non-executive director of NHS Health Scotland (2003-2011) where she was Chair of the Staff Governance Committee and Board Equality Lead and is currently a non-executive director with the NHS Scottish Ambulance Service and with the Scottish Government. She is also a non-legal member of Employment Tribunals.

Neelam has extensive experience of equality which started in inter-faith work as a teenager, developing later into community and political activism. As an elected councillor in the former Strathclyde Regional Council (1990-1996) she chaired strategic committees and multi-agency working groups. She was a member of the Scotland Advisory Committee of the Equal Opportunities Commission (1993-2007), and of the GB taskforce considering representation of minority ethnic women in public life for the Government Equalities Office (2008-2009). Her professional experience includes being a senior manager and human resources equality advisor in a large unitary local authority. Her consultancy experience encompasses all aspects of working with public sector duties (from development, implementation and quality assurance of equality strategies to supporting formal investigations), as well as consultation and research into equality and human rights.

Dr Donald Lyons

Donny joined the Mental Welfare Commission as Director (subsequently Chief Executive) in October 2003. He qualified in medicine in 1981 and specialised in psychiatry, working in Glasgow and Nottingham. He became a Consultant in Psychiatry of Old Age in 1989. His special interests were new service models and the safe, ethical and effective use of medical treatments. As Clinical Director in Glasgow, he developed community mental health service for older people, served on various national committees and on the Council of Alzheimer Scotland Action on Dementia from 1994 to 2002.

Donny’s work with the Mental Welfare Commission included many important reports relevant to the equality and human rights agenda. He has also served on the Executive of the UK National Preventive Mechanism under the UN Convention against Torture. He has represented the UK at Council of Europe and United Nations levels to promote the work done in the UK and give advice to other jurisdictions.

Colin Young

Colin Young is the Senior Policy and Outcomes Officer for Self Directed Support at the Health and Social Care ALLIANCE. As part of the Changing Support Changing Lives initiative, Colin's role is to build the connections between the Self Directed Support strategy and health improvement.

Previously Colin was the Campaigns and Policy Officer for Children and Young People for Mencap in London. He led on Mencap’s responses to government consultations, prepared briefings for debates in both Houses of Parliament and delivered Mencap's key messages through the media. Until September 2013, Colin was a member of Equality 2025, a UK non-governmental department body advising the Westminster Government on disability issues. Colin is currently studying a PhD with the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research at the University of Glasgow into the effect of childhood therapy on the identity of young disabled people.

Des McNulty

Des is the Associate Director of Policy Scotland. He is a sociologist and public policy specialist with 20 years experience in higher education. He has extensive experience of working with policy makers, having served at senior levels in local government, as a health board member, as an MSP, a committee Chair within the Scottish Parliament and as a Minister. He has recently been undertaking research with colleagues on media coverage of human rights.

Des joined Glasgow University in September 2012 and his role is to develop links with research users, including policy makers, practitioners and organisations working on public policy issues and academics within the school and other colleagues in the College of Social Sciences and other Colleges in the University, increase awareness and uptake of research by policy makers and support the professional development of staff undertaking policy related research.

Emma Ritch

Emma is Executive Director of Engender, which is a feminist NGO working on women’s social, economic, and political equality in Scotland. Prior to this she was manager of Close the Gap for nine years, and worked extensively on women’s labour market participation. She is a member of the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, and is acting chair of the Scottish Human Rights Consortium management committee. She is chair of the board of the Rape Crisis Centre in Glasgow, and vice-chair of Rape Crisis Scotland's board. She is also a trustee of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the treasurer of the 50:50 campaign.

Among other working groups, she sits on the equality advisory group of Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Court Service, and a number of groups relating to the delivery of the Scottish National Action Plan for Human Rights.

Lorraine Barrie

Lorraine worked for 8 years as a solicitor in a community law centre in Glasgow, where she represented and advised clients on housing, employment, debt, welfare benefits and consumer law. She developed expertise in equality law relating to access to services by EU migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, and worked to challenge discriminatory practices. In partnership with a range of stakeholders she developed drop-ins, bilingual resources and training events to increase awareness of legal rights and remedies.

She now works as Coordinator of South East Integration Network, a broad network of voluntary and statutory organisations delivering education, arts, youth and cultural activities and events in South East Glasgow. She is a Trustee of Friends of Romano Lav, a Roma-led charity based in Glasgow.

Last Updated: 28 May 2015