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New details emerge about the Governments human rights proposals

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Justice Secretary Michael Gove is set to tell Judges that they can ignore certain rulings from the European Court of Human Rights.

The British Bill of Rights – which the Government is drafting to replace the Human Rights Act – will dilute the influence of European case law.

A draft copy of the new legal framework, which was leaked to the Sunday Times, says: “We would make clear that the domestic courts are not automatically bound to follow Strasbourg.”

Instead Judges will be encouraged to turn to common law or even the laws of various Commonwealth countries when making judgments.

Measures are also likely to be introduced to reduce the compensation that individuals are entitled to if they win human rights claims against public bodies.

Although it is thought that the Government wishes to remain a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, amid concern that withdrawing from the treaty could seriously undermine the UK’s international standing.

The new details about the Bill of Rights come as a poll by Amnesty International suggested there was little public support for the Government’s proposals to scrap existing legislation.

Just one in ten of those surveyed considered human rights reform a top priority and two thirds of those questioned were concerned about the prospect of politicians selecting which rights they enforce and which they don’t.

Kate Allen, Amnesty UK’s director, said the poll once again demonstrated that there was little enthusiasm for ripping up the existing Human Rights Act.

“The British people clearly want the Government to get on with their proper business of the day-to-day running of the country, and abandon these destructive plans,” she said.

The Ministry of Justice has dismissed the Sunday Times report as speculation, although concrete details are expected to be published before Christmas.

At Lester Morrill, our public law team has a wealth of experience handling cases relating to human rights. For more details about out services, please contact our Leeds-based solicitors today.

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