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Human rights laws must be upheld warns Miller

This news post is over 7 years old
 

Politicians must build on existing human rights legislation not erode it says commissioner

Carer's case

Elaine McDonald, a disabled former Scottish Ballet dancer, brought a case against her localauthority when it stopped providing her with a night carer to help her use thetoilet.

Although she lost hercase on other issues, the judgement by the European Court of Human Rights inStrasbourg established that a failure to consider a person's dignity can be abreach of Article 8, the right to a private and family life.

This has been seen as an important ruling by disabled people and organisations campaigning for their rights to be realised in practice.

Changing human rights laws in Scotland would be “regressive”, the country’s human rights commissioner has warned.

Professor Alan Miller is urging politicians to ensure human rights protection is stronger after the general election and the country goes forward not back.

The Scottish Human Rights Commission’s (SHRC) report on the future of human rights legislation said debate about changing laws was a step backwards.

There have been a number of suggestions from politicians that human rights laws should be modified, for instance when a person has broken the law or immigration regulations.

Miller said: “We must not allow regressive changes to slip through, or opportunities to improve people's lives to be missed. All of us deserve better than that.

"Changes to the UK's human rights laws would have a direct impact on the lives of people in Scotland, particularly in areas like immigration, defence and some aspects of welfare."

Notable legal successes in Scotland using human rights laws include a judgement against a local authority for withdrawing provision of a carer for a disabled former ballet dancer, and challenges against the so-called bedroom tax.

 

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