Human Rights Act

Thank you for your email about the Human Rights Act.

I appreciate your views and will myself be looking at three key issues when the government brings forward legislation:

1. Whether there is any diminution of the human rights available to UK citizens and residents.
2. Whether there is any reduction in the United Kingdom’s commitment to the promotion and enforcement of international human rights.
3. Whether the rights afforded to British citizens overseas will be affected negatively.

Following a commitment in the Conservative Manifesto, the Government has announced its intention to bring forward proposals for a Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. I understand that the intention is that the Bill will protect existing rights, which are an essential part of a modern, democratic society, and better protect against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws.

The Government view is that the Bill of Rights will reform and modernise the human rights framework in the UK and restore common sense to the application of human rights laws, which some believe has been undermined by the damaging effects of the Human Rights Act.

You may find it interesting to know that the majority of the members of the independent Commission on a Bill of Rights, set up in 2011, agreed that there was a case for a Bill of Rights, not least to address the credibility and public ownership gaps that exist with the Human Rights Act. However, it was impossible to reach agreement on how to reform the human rights framework within the coalition during the last Government.

Ministers have said they will fully consult on proposals before introducing legislation and will announce further details in due course. I will bear your comments in mind as I consider their proposals in the months to come.

With best wishes