STAJAC has been created to provide external, expert scrutiny of the devolved administrative justice and tribunals system in Scotland. The Committee has been established for a period of two years.
The new Committee Chair, Marieke Dwarshuis, selected eight initial members with a wide range of experience in areas such as issuing ad-vice, decision making, academia and representing users. The initial members of the Committee were:
Marieke Dwarshuis, Chair ; Professor Tom Mullen; Shaben Begum; Paul McFadden; Lauren Wood; Tom Drysdale, John Sturrock; Douglas Proudfoot; and Sarah O’Neill. John Sturrock has since left the committee.
MARIEKE DWARSHUIS Marieke’s career in Scotland spans over 20 years in the public and voluntary sector in a wide range of roles including Director of Consumer Focus Scotland and positions at the Scottish Government, Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, Citizens Advice Scotland and Shelter Scotland.
PROFESSOR TOM MULLEN
Tom Mullen is Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow and a non-practising solicitor. His research and teaching interests include constitutional law, administrative law and he has written and edited numerous books on these subjects.
Sarah is a non-practising solicitor, with experience in the private, public and voluntary sectors. She is currently an independent consultant specialising in legal and consumer policy, and has many years’ experience of working on civil and administrative justice issues.
Shaben is the Director of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) with an advocacy background stretching back many years. Shaben has helped the SIAA develop a strong national voice for independent advocacy organisations, helping to influence services and legislation. Shaben received an MBE for services to health care in 2011.
Paul is a member of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) Senior Management Team and heads up its Complaints Standards Authority. Paul also oversaw the transfer of prisons and water complaints to the Ombudsman’s office and helped establish the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland.
Lauren is Access to Justice Policy Officer at Citizens Advice Scotland. She is responsible for influencing decision makers and opinion formers in Government, the public and private sectors and the media. Lauren holds a Masters Degree in Law and Governance.
Douglas is a Chartered Accountant with 21 years’ experience in Local Government Finance. He has also worked for COSLA and on the Scottish Welfare Fund implementation. Douglas is currently a Policy Manager with East Lothian Council.
Tom Drysdale was in private practice as a solicitor until 2004 and was a Director of Edinburgh Solicitors’ Property Centre. He was a part time first tier tribunal judge in social security appeals until 2013 and also worked with the Registers of Scotland.
As the founder and Chief Executive of the Core Solutions Group, John has pioneered mediation and high quality training in business, the professions and commerce in Scotland and elsewhere. John became a Queen's Counsel in 1999. John resigned his position on the committee in August 2014 due to other commitments. He was instrumental to the success of the STAJAC Stakeholder event in April 2014 when he was the facilitator on the day. John remains a friend of the committe and has offered the benefits of his experience and expertise if called upon by the Chairperson.
Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “I wish Marieke and the members every success in their work scrutinising the administrative justice and tribunals system in Scot-land. I am sure it will help improve access to justice, in particular, for some of our more vulnerable members of society”
Committee Chair Marieke Dwarshuis said she is delighted to have been asked to chair the new committee and is looking forward to starting its work. She added: “This is a crucial time for administrative justice and tribunals in Scotland with developments in many different areas that we will be able to contribute to and I hope the committee will be able to champion the needs of users from across all parts of the system in Scotland. “