Ruth Adler

Feminist, human rights campaigner and child welfare advocate.

Ruth Margaret Adler nee Oppenheimer (1 October 1944 – 18 February 1994) was a feminist, humam rights campaigner and child welfare advocate. Ruth was founder of Amnesty International's Scotland office as their first employee in Scotland in 1991. Ruth was also a founding member of Scottish Women's Aid in 1974, and a member of Lothian  Children's Panel and helped to establish the Scottish Child Law Centre.

Ruth Adler
Ruth Adler - feminist, human rights campaigner and child welfare advocate

Ruth's parents Charlotte and Rudolf Oppenheimer came from Gernmany to Britain as refugees in the 1930s. Ruth was born in Devon, where her father was stationed during the war.

Ruth studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Somerville College, Oxford and an MA in Philosophy at University of London. Ruth moved to Scotland in the 1960s with her husband and children and became a part-time tutor in the Philosophy Department of Edinburgh University for many years before gaining a further PhD in Law . She was enormously influenced by her superviser Neil  MacCormack (a Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at UoE from 1972 until 2008). Ruth was fluent in English and German and after obtaining her PhD, she and Neil collaborated in translating a number of books by leading Czech (Ota Weinberger) and German (Robert Alexy, Geunter Teubneer) legal philosophers from German into English.

While working at The Scottish Child Law Centre Ruth helped to create the first comprehensive database of child law in Scotland.She was a magistrate and a Justice of the Peace. From 1987 to 1991 she was responsible for investigating complaints against solicitorsas Assistant to the Lay Observer for Scotland.

As a prominent member of the Edinburgh Jewish community, Ruth was editor of the Edinburgh Star and Secretary and President (1998) of the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society.

Ruth died in February 1994, aged 49.

There is a plaque dedicated to Ruth Adler in the garden of University of Edinburgh Day Nursery.

University of Edinburgh School of Law sponsor an annual Ruth Adler Memorial Lecture on Human Rights.


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