Protection of Freedoms Bill

Report stage briefing

10 October 2011

Summary

  • The Commission welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Protection of Freedoms Bill.  Our advice on this Bill is provided in the context of our statutory duty to promote, enforce and monitor the effectiveness of equality and human rights enactments .
  • The Commission broadly welcomes the Bill as providing better protection of human rights. In particular, we welcome measures in relation to the retention and destruction of biometric data, which we consider would provide for a more proportionate regime.
  • However, the Commission considers that aspects of the Bill could be strengthened to ensure they adequately protect human rights. For example, we welcome proposals to amend section 44 stop and search powers, but consider they may fail to meet requirements under the European Convention on Human Rights. The Commission would suggest additional safeguards for use of these powers.
  • The Commission also welcomes further regulation of CCTV surveillance.  We would suggest a comprehensive review and reform of legislation governing information privacy to simplify existing legislation, as well as ensure it adequately protects and promotes the right to privacy.

Download the full Protection of Freedoms Bill briefing (Word)

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