Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 ~ responses

An Independent Review of the Human Rights Act 1998 was announced in December 2020 - see previous post 8 December 2020.

The government claimed that it is committed to "upholding the UK's stature on human rights" and that, after 20 years, "it is timely to undertake a review" of the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998,  

The government has also stated that it is committed to remaining a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. The review was set up to consider the relationship between domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights and also the impact of the Human Rights Act on the relationship between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature.

The Review undertook a "Call for Evidence" from 13 January 2021 to 3 March 2021 and that was

followed by "Roadshows" from 4 May to 2 June. The Roadshows were held at seven Universities across the UK. The Call for Evidence resulted in a considerable number of responses from individuals (mostly lawyers) and organisations. The responses may be read via the Review's webpage.

The Review will report to the Secretary of State for Justice in the summer of 2021.

Independent Review webpage

Without pre-empting the report, there are grounds for concern about the government's attitude to human rights protection in the UK.

A view has developed within political circles that the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) has enabled judges to trespass on to the territory of the executive.  This opinion appears to be the true rationale for the review. 

In practice, the judiciary has sought to render unto the politicians that which rightly is within their domain - POLICY - but the judiciary has also asked for respect for the law from government.  

We should be very wary of suggestions which may result in reduced protection for the convention rights of individual citizens.

The responses to the Call for Evidence are well-worth reading.

20 June 2021.