Bill of Rights Bill: Parliamentary Committee urges Government not to proceed

The Human Rights Joint Committee has published a report in which it calls on the Government to reconsider the majority of the Bill of Rights Bill, calling into question the wisdom of proceeding with the legislation at all. The Committee has numerous criticisms of the Bill. It says that the Bill is likely to seriously weaken the ability of individuals to seek redress for human rights breaches. Under the reforms, new barriers would be created that would make it harder for people to enforce their rights inside and outside of court.

It would also undermine the universality of human rights by making it more difficult for certain groups to bring cases. Attempts in the Bill to change how the courts of our domestic legal systems interpret rights, read legislation and award damages are also likely to act as barriers that prevent individuals from enforcing their rights.

Changes to the way in which courts interpret human rights would result in them focusing on the original text of the European Convention of Human Rights as it was adopted in the 1950s, rather than how it has developed to reflect human rights in the modern world.

For the report, click here. For a summary, click here.

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