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UK Government faces criticism over human rights plans

This news post is almost 2 years old

The move would distance the UK from existing protections in place from the European Court of Human Rights.

A coalition of charities and human rights campaigners have condemned the UK Government’s planned Rights Removal Bill, making clear their support for the Human Rights Act. 

A joint statement, published by 125 groups from across Britain, has made clear concerns about the implications of changes to legislation which would affect Scotland. 

Last month the government published a new Bill that would get rid of our Human Rights Act, which campaigners say represents the latest step in plans to reduce their responsibilities to uphold the human rights protections people rely on every day across the UK.

The introduction would distance UK courts from the European Court of Human Rights. 

Now, 125 groups, including Age Scotland, Alliance, voluntary representative groups and trade unions, have come together to make clear their opposition. 

In a statement, they said: “Our human rights are about the values we hold dear and the way we treat one another – they are about dignity, fairness, equality, tolerance, and respect. They are the foundations that help us live together freely and fairly - a safety net to protect us all. We are therefore alarmed that the UK Government has introduced a Bill to Parliament which, if enacted, will repeal the Human Rights Act and will significantly diminish protection for human rights in law.

“Our experience of working with individuals and communities across Scotland is that the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) is an essential protection for our human rights. Indeed, many of our organisations submitted evidence to the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act detailing the ways in which the HRA is working well. We also collectively gave many hours of our time to respond to the UK Government’s consultation on proposals for this Bill of Rights. However, both the Panel’s recommendations and the consultation responses have been disregarded by the UK Government in the development of this Bill.

“We are very concerned that there are many elements to this Bill that will significantly reduce human rights protection. These include, for example, restricting / narrowing our relationship with the European Court of Human Rights, lowering standards of protection, and making it harder for the court to protect us from serious and irreparable harm.

“The rights removal bill will undermine all of our human rights and significantly impact the realisation of rights for individuals whose human rights are currently most at risk. The UK Government's proposals for reform are out of step with political and public opinion in Scotland. “There is overwhelming support across Scotland to go forwards and not backwards on human rights, for a strong human rights legal framework and not one that is watered down.

"We therefore strongly urge the UK Government to reconsider this Bill and instead, consider what can be done to better protect human rights for all in Scotland, and across the UK.”



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almost 2 years ago

We need an organisation with 'teeth' unconnected to political bodies and governments who decide on the rights of individuals and legitimate groups.

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