Published: 21 Sep 2022
The EHRC has today written to Brandon Lewis MP, the new Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, welcoming the UK Government’s decision to pause the Bill of Rights Bill for further consideration.
We had concerns that the Bill, as drafted, could potentially:
- weaken the UK’s framework of human rights protections
- reduce access to redress for breaches of human rights
- have implications for the protection of freedom of expression
- have significant constitutional implications for the UK’s devolution settlements and the Belfast/Good Friday agreement.
We welcome the Government’s commitment to remaining party to the European Convention on Human Rights and retain its incorporation in UK law. The Human Rights Act, which achieves this, has significantly improved human rights protections and access to justice for people in the UK since its enactment in 1998.
This pause presents an opportunity to consider these issues further. Significant constitutional reforms should be subject to wide consultation and robust pre-legislative scrutiny.
We look forward to working with the Government to strengthen equality and human rights across Britain.
We modified this statement on 12/10/2022 to reflect better the contents of our letter to Brandon Lewis MP. We changed the words ‘including for the Union’ to ‘for the UK’s devolution settlements and the Belfast/Good Friday agreement’.