The Human Rights Act has empowered thousands of individuals to enforce their rights domestically, allowing the vast majority of human rights claims to be determined by UK judges, and enabled individuals to achieve justice without the time and expense of an application to the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’). It has embedded a culture of human rights protection within many of our public services. It has done so whilst maintaining Parliamentary sovereignty and the constitutional balance between the three branches of government.
The Government planned to repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA) and replace it with a Bill of Rights. The proposed Bill would severely weaken rights protection in the United Kingdom, cause unnecessary legal uncertainty, have serious consequences for the devolved settlements and Good Friday Agreement and is inconsistent with our international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Independent Human Rights Act Review
The Government establishes the Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR), chaired by Sir Peter Gross, to examine the framework of the HRA and how it has been operating in practice.
JUSTICE’s IHRAR response
JUSTICE submits its response to the IHRAR, informed by an advisory group of experts chaired by Sir Michael Tugendhat.
It highlights that the HRA in is functioning well, enabling the courts to give effect to and protect the rights of individuals whilst maintaining Parliamentary sovereignty and the balance between the different branches of Government.
IHRAR Report and “A Modern Bill of Rights” Consultation
The IHRAR report is published. It finds that the HRA was “generally working well” and makes some limited recommendations for reform of the HRA.
Simultaneously, the Government publishes a consultation ‘Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights’ which sets out proposals to replace the HRA with a ‘Bill of Rights. The proposals go well beyond the recommendations of the IHRAR.
JUSTICE’s consultation response
JUSTICE responds to the consultation. Our response is informed by our advisory group of experts chaired by Sir Michael Tugendhat.
Our response is one of 12,000 responses received by the Government.
House of Lords Debate on the HRA
The House of Lords debate the impact of the HRA. Read our briefing.
The Bill of Rights Bill, House of Commons, Second Reading
The Bill of Rights will receive its second reading in the House of Commons. Read our briefing.
Briefing on ECHR Membership to MPs and Peers
JUSTICE briefed Parliamentarians on the importance of the UK’s membership of the European Convention on Human Rights. Read our briefing.