This Government was elected with a mandate to reform and modernise the UK human rights framework.
The UK has a proud tradition of respect for human rights which long pre-dates the Human Rights Act in 1998. We remain committed to defending Britain’s tradition of liberty. Under the last Conservative-led Government, we scrapped identity cards and reduced the period of detention without charge. But, equally, the Human Rights Act opened the system to abuse, damaging the credibility of human rights. That’s why the Government is bringing forward proposals for a British Bill of Rights, which will replace the Human Rights Act. The Bill will protect fundamental human rights, but also prevent their abuse and restore some common sense to the system.
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, concluded there was a compelling argument for a Bill of Rights. However, it was not possible to secure Coalition agreement on how proceed. However, now is the right time to make changes and the new Government is committed to reforming human rights.
Ministers have said they will fully consult on proposals before introducing legislation and will announce further details in due course. I believe the argument for reform of the human rights framework is compelling and I fully support the Government’s plans.