On this page you’ll find resources about strategic litigation including articles we’ve written, conference papers, and links to publications and resources from Scotland, the UK and internationally.

‘In Care, in family?’ in the Law Society of Scotland Journal by Clan Childlaw’s Principal Solicitor Alison Reid

In this article, Alison explains the impact the Supreme Court case brought by Clan Childlaw’s client ABC had on the creation of new statutory rights designed to keep siblings together and connected. 

‘Transforming lives through law’ by Jacqui Kinghan and Lisa Vanhala for The Baring Foundation, describes ten examples of civil society organisations using the law for social change, including Clan Childlaw’s work on siblings.

Event: Using law and the courts to defend people’s rights – recent cases, developments and third sector involvement 

Seminar hosted by Clan Childlaw and Human Rights Consortium Scotland at the Melting Pot, Rose Street, Edinburgh, 4th November 2019

This afternoon seminar brought together third sector and legal professionals to discuss recent legal cases defending people’s rights in Scotlandhow third sector organisations are using the law and litigation to protect human rights and effect changeprogress made in opening up public interest litigation in Scotland, and next steps in advancing collaboration to defend rights. 

The event took place one year on from the launch of the Discussion Paper “Overcoming Barriers to Public Interest Litigation in Scotland, which Clan and Human Rights Consortium Scotland co-authored with Amnesty Scotland, Shelter Scotland, JustRight Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland.  


Download a summary of the event. 



Julia Donnelly Head of Representation, Clan Childlaw: ‘Using the law to realise care leavers’ rights’

Sara Lomri, Deputy Legal Director, Public Law Project (PLP): ‘Using the law to effect change – the role and impact of civil society’

Naomi McAuliffe, Programme Director, Scotland, Amnesty International: ‘Building a culture of using the law for change in the third sector in Scotland’

Joint Discussion Paper ‘Overcoming Barriers to Public Interest Litigation in Scotland’

We have worked with Human Rights Consortium, Amnesty International, MECOPP, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Shelter Scotland, JustRight Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland to produce this Discussion Paper on Overcoming Barriers to Public Interest Litigation in Scotland. It identifies challenges for those wishing to engage in PIL and suggests actions which could help overcome these. It was launched at our joint event with HRCS and Amnesty Scotland ‘Using the law to advance rights: Overcoming barriers and creating opportunities’ event at the Faculty of Advocates on 22nd November.

Read the report here

Event: Roundtable on Children’s Rights in Scotland: using the law and human rights to advance policy

Wednesday 26th October 2016, 2pm-4.30pm, Norton Park Conference Centre

Part of the Children’s Rights in Scotland project, this event brought together around 60 representatives of voluntary organisations, lawyers and other professionals working in children’s rights to consider how to use the law and human rights to advance policy. Thanks to everyone who participated! Special thanks to our fantastic speakers:
Michael Gowan Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament
Jennifer Twite, Just for Kids Law, London – view Jennifer’s presentation here
Fiona Jones, Clan Childlaw – view Fiona’s presentation here
Juliet Harris, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) – view Juliet’s presentation here
Morag Ross QC
Conference materials:
Chair and speaker biographies

Using the law Roundtable-Summary

Handout on law and human rights based approaches for tackling disadvantage and discrimination among children and young people

Clan Childlaw interventions

Clan Childlaw has intervened in three Supreme Court cases:


Supreme Court cases involving the disclosure systems in England and Wales and Northern Ireland (In the matter of an application by Lorraine Gallagher for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland), R (on the application of P, G and W) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Appellants), R (on the application of P) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and others (Respondents) [2019] UKSC 3). Our intervention set out the system of disclosure of childhood offending in Scotland (read it here). The judgment of 30 January 2019 found youth reprimands and warnings (now youth cautions) should not be disclosed in criminal record checks, recognising that these are diversionary measures intended for the rehabilitation of children and should not be used to stigmatise or criminalise them in later life. The judgment is relevant to the whole of the UK and it an important recognition of children’s rights.

AB v Her Majesty’s Advocate – read more about the case on the Supreme Court website and in our note on the case following the judgment of 5 April 2017. Read our intervention here and the UK Human Rights Blog article about the case.

‘Named person’ case – see our page on Information sharing under the Named Person scheme and details of the case on the Supreme Court website.

Legal Services Agency Conference on Judicial Review: Overview and Practice, 1 March 2017 – Clan Childlaw’s Principal Solicitor Alison Reid participated in this conference, presenting on the subject Interventions in Judicial Review – see her presentation here

Seminar The UNCRC in Law, Friday 10th February 2017 – Clan Childlaw recently presented on UNCRC-Gaps in legislation at a seminar on The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Law. This was part of the The UNCRC in Scotland seminar series 2017 held in partnership between Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh, and the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection at the University of Stirling, funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute.

Scottish Legal News Annual Review 2017 – Article by Fiona Jones, Clan Childlaw’s Policy and Advocacy Consultant, and Janet Cormack, Strategic Litigation Group Coordinator, on Rebalancing Information Sharing under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 following the Supreme Court judgment (p. 76-77).

Scottish Public Law Group Event ‘Human Rights: in Public Law and the Public Eye’, 6 December 2016 – Alison Reid was delighted to speak at this event alongside Judith Robertson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Human Rights Commission and Bruce Adamson, Legal Officer at the Scottish Human Rights Commission. Alison spoke about  Human Rights in Practice – Interventions.

Scottish Association of Law Centres training event on Judicial Review, 29 November 2016  Alison Reid was delighted to take part in the Scottish Association of Law Centres training event on Judicial Review for Advisors in the Voluntary Sector on 29 November 2016. Download Alison’s intervening in judicial review