Scotland’s former Children and Young People’s Commissioner appointed as Law Professor

Bruce Adamson, Scotland’s former Children and Young People’s Commissioner, has joined the University of Glasgow’s School of Law as Professor of Practice.

Scotland’s former Children and Young People’s Commissioner has joined the University of Glasgow’s School of Law as Professor of Practice.

Bruce Adamson was Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland between 2017-2023. During this time, his commitment to promoting and safeguarding the rights of children and young people across Scotland had a substantial and positive impact on children’s rights-based policy and practice.

Working directly with children and civil society, Bruce led campaigns for legislative change in relation to the age of criminal responsibility, the physical punishment of children, and the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law.

As Commissioner he focused on issues such as child justice, mental health and poverty, as well as supporting children as human rights defenders and developing strategic litigation.

As Professor of Practice, Bruce will deliver teaching and inspiration based on over 25 years of experience of international children’s rights, as a lawyer qualified in three jurisdictions, an advisor for InterGovernmental Organisations, and a campaigner working with children and young people.

Bruce’s appointment will be announced today (3 October) at a joint University of Strathclyde Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures and University of Glasgow event on the Rights of the Child, featuring internationally renowned child rights lawyer and Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Professor Ann Skelton.

Bruce said:

"I’m delighted to be joining the extraordinary team at the University of Glasgow at this pivotal moment for children’s rights and human rights in Scotland. The University’s role in championing human rights is vital as the world faces growing challenges and increasing pushbacks and retrogression.

"The University of Glasgow is ideally placed to work with local, regional and international organisations across public, private and third sectors to use the human rights framework to deliver lasting and impactful positive change in people’s lives. Scotland is forging new laws to ensure that human rights are respected protected and fulfilled. The academic community will not only play a key role in shaping these laws but will also ensure their effective implementation.

"The research and teaching at the University of Glasgow will help build a new rights-based culture in Scotland, including through public legal education. This process will create fantastic new opportunities for students through clinical legal education and other experiential learning.

"I’m looking forward to helping to build and enhance the connections between the international human rights community and the University. I am also looking forward to continuing my work with children and young people, who have shown incredible leadership as Human Rights Defenders, and will play an important role in helping deliver the culture change that we need. Their involvement in our work will be essential to building a human rights culture in Scotland which delivers for communities here, but also resonates with global impact.

"Coming into the academic world after having spent my whole professional career as a practitioner is as daunting as it is exciting, but it is a dream come true to be joining such an amazing community at the University of Glasgow at such an important time."

Dr Claire McDiarmid, Head of the School of Law at the University of Glasgow, said:

"This is an exciting appointment and one which has been made possible by historic investment in the development of clinical legal education in the School. Bruce’s appointment will support and enhance ongoing work with local, regional and international organisations across public, private and third sectors to develop existing relationships and build new partnerships to support clinical legal education and knowledge exchange opportunities for students and staff within the School of Law. It is a fixed term six month appointment, but one which we hope will offer potential for future development."