This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

SNP vows: we won’t be forced to scrap human rights

This news post is over 9 years old

Tory plans to scrap human rights legislation won't be accepted in Scotland, the SNP warns.

Plans by the Conservatives to scrap human rights legislation can’t be forced on Scotland, a senior government minister has warned.

In a hugely controversial move, the Tories pledged to scrap the 1998 Human Rights Act at their party conference last week, an act introduced under the Labour government, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into British law.

But Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish community safety minister, said the Conservative proposal to replace it with a British bill of rights would require Holyrood’s consent and this would not be forthcoming.

These plans would have an adverse effect on people in Scotland - Alan Miller

She said: “Human rights protections, and the Human Rights Act, are central to the law of Scotland and we intend to do everything within our power to ensure those protections remain in place.”

The intervention comes after professor Alan Miller, chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, accused the Tories of playing “party politics with human rights.”

Miller added the move was “irresponsible”, undermining the rule of law and risked taking the UK backwards when it comes to protecting people’s rights in everyday life.

He also warned that the impact of the proposed changes would be felt directly by people in Scotland if they went ahead.

“These plans would have an adverse effect on people in Scotland because they would affect human rights in areas of policy reserved to Westminster,” he said.

“That could include people’s rights at work, the rights of Scottish soldiers to be adequately protected when serving overseas and the rights of people seeking refuge and asylum to be treated humanely.”

Richard Hamer, Amnesty's Scotland Programme director, backed the Cunningham's stance.

He said: "Human rights are a cornerstone of Scottish society and people here know the value of holding the powerful to account.

"Whatever decisions may be taken in the Westminster parliament in years to come, Scotland's politicians must stand firm in guaranteeing the human rights of all the people of Scotland and use their standing to promote human rights internationally."