Dr Ruth Adler née Oppenheimer (Ilfracombe, Devon 1944 – Edinburgh 1994) was the first Scottish Development Officer for Amnesty International. Born to parents who came to Britain as refugees from Nazi Germany in 1934, Ruth studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Somerville College, Oxford, and obtained a doctorate in Jurisprudence from the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis was published as a book entitled Taking Juvenile Justice Seriously. She was one of the founders of Scottish Women’s Aid and the Scottish Child Law Centre, a member of the Children’s Panel for many years and then a Justice of the Peace. The Ruth Adler Lecture on Human Rights, established in her memory, is given every year in the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh.
Ruth was very proud of her Jewish heritage and deeply committed to her adopted country, Scotland. She translated several scholarly books from German into English, was editor of the Edinburgh Star and President of the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society.
Ruth was married to Michael Adler for twenty-seven years and had two sons, Jonathan and Benjamin.