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
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 is currently also a member of Joseph Rowntree Foundation Policy Strategy Group and 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
As a member of the Parole Board, Elaine has participated in work with the Scottish Prison Service to improve their support to prisoners, particularly prisoners with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
As a volunteer member of a Housing Association management committee, Elaine encouraged other committee members to agree a policy change to provide furnished accommodation for asylum seekers in Glasgow, and provide an enhanced interpreter service for tenants from BME groups in Glasgow. As a director of a local authority, Elaine (with a solicitor) ran seminars for managers about the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998, and helped them to identify policies which required to be amended to meet the legislation.
As Scottish Commissioner for the Disability Rights Commission, Elaine worked with DRC staff to get the agreement of Scottish civil servants to press Westminster colleagues to expand the remit of Additional Support for Learning tribunals in Scotland to include equalities issues (similar to the rest of the UK). As a Scottish Government Non Executive Director (until December 2011) Elaine sits on the Scottish Government Equalities and Diversity Board.
Louise Falconer is a Principal Policy Officer at Glasgow City Council, working in the Policy Development Unit. The Unit develops innovative policy ideas to tackle regeneration and social inclusion issues in the City.
Louise moved to Scotland to take up a position in Oxfam in the gender and regeneration programme, aimed at making governmental anti-poverty policies more responsive to the needs of women. Whilst at Oxfam, Louise was also employed as a Global Gender Adviser and provided gender mainstreaming support to staff and partners around the world. After leaving Oxfam Louise worked in the Scottish Parliament as a Senior Legal Researcher.
Prior to this, Louise worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in the Australia Government developing policy around work and family and women's economic rights. In 2002 Louise won a scholarship to complete a Masters degree in Womens Law at the University of British Columbia, Canada and won several international prizes for her thesis. Louise has also served on the Board of Shakti Womens Aid.
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 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.
Donny joined the Mental Welfare Commission as Director (subsequently Chief Executive) in October 2003. He qualified in medicine in 1981and 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 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 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.
Last Updated: 04 Jul 2014