published: March 2022
JUSTICE has today submitted our response to the Consultation to reform the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA).
Our response highlights that the Government’s proposals to replace the HRA with a Bill of Rights will weaken rights protection in the UK by unduly restricting the content of rights and putting up additional procedural barriers to enforcement.
It appears that the introduction of a ‘Bill of Rights’ is not driven by a concern for individual rights, but instead to shield Government action from proper scrutiny by the courts.”
We are particularly concerned about the lack of evidence put forward in the Consultation to justify the proposed changes. In our view the HRA has been operating well for many years and as the recent Independent Human Rights Act Review found there is little evidence or support for its repeal and replacement.
Contrary to the Government’s stated aim of increasing certainty and reducing human rights litigation, many of the proposed changes are unworkable and would significantly increase the volume, time and cost of human rights litigation for both claimants and defendant public bodies.
We welcome the Government’s commitment to remaining a party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, many of the Consultation’s proposals will put the UK in breach of its international obligations under that treaty.