There are big plans for a new Scottish Human Rights Bill. This bill will bring more of our international human rights treaties directly into our law. It will include things like the right to food, to adequate housing, to health, to education. These rights will be enforceable, in court if necessary. This bill is important and a major step towards making our rights real for people across Scotland, no matter who they are.

The Scottish Government has published a long-awaited consultation on this Bill, setting out its proposals for what it should look like. When we look at the Government’s proposals, we're giving them a report card that says, “you could do better”.

The Government plans to incorporate more of our human rights into Scots law, which is a good thing. But the plan it has suggested needs to be made stronger. As we look at the details, it's clear that its proposals need to be improved so that the bill can really protect people's rights well. It is critical that this is clear so everyone is aware that these new laws will protect and enhance their everyday rights.

The consultation does not say nearly enough about how people can get help when their rights are violated, or how people can access justice. If we want to make sure that rights are more than just words on paper, we need to make sure there are ways for people to fix things when something goes wrong. Obtaining justice should not be exhausting and almost impossible for many people. This bill needs to make access to justice much more straightforward.

There are some complicated parts about how this new Human Rights Bill will fit within devolution limits. We're asking the Government to go as far as it can on human rights, within the scope of devolution. But it needs to be more open about how it makes these decisions within its powers.

There needs to be much greater attention to rights of disabled people. The bill must fully include disabled people’s rights, making them strong and enforceable. Anything less will not drive the change that disabled people need if their rights are to be real.

Another important thing to think about is time. The Government should spell out timelines in the bill, committing to when new public body duties will be enforceable.

In short, the Government’s proposals are not bad, but could - and must - do so much better. By working together, we can respond to this consultation to create a Human Rights Bill that shows that Scotland values and protects every person's rights, especially those whose rights are most at risk. The Government should listen to these ideas and responses, and make sure that it demonstrates that it is serious about making things better for all of us.

This is a vital moment for human rights in Scotland. The Scottish Government needs to make it count by making this bill every bit as good as it can be.

Lucy Miller is Senior Policy Officer, Human Rights Consortium Scotland