The Consortium has submitted a joint response to the UK Government’s consultation on proposed changes to the Human Rights Act, firmly rejecting the proposals.
In December 2021, Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Justice, announced plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a new piece of legislation. This new British Bill of Rights could make it harder for people to bring human rights cases to court, and puts the UK at risk of diverging from case law from the European Court of Human Rights. It could also have a negative impact on Scotland’s devolution agreement with Westminster, as the Human Rights Act is a fundamental part of that agreement.
A consultation on the proposals ran from the 14th December 2021 to 8th March 2022, with an extension permitted for those who use Easy Read and audio formats until 19th April. The Consortium’s consultation response has been signed by 48 Scottish civil society organisations, who agree that the Human Rights Act works and does not need to be replaced.
We argue that the Human Rights Act is an essential protection for our human rights, particularly for marginalised people, many of whom find it the only way to access justice and ensure that their rights are not ignored. Human rights standards should be continually strengthened over time; they must not be allowed to be reduced or regressed. We believe that plans to replace the Human Rights Act put us at risk of human rights regression, and thus say NO to the proposed reform.