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Backlash over human rights proposals grows

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Justice Secretary Michael Gove continues to come under fierce criticism for his proposals to tear up the Human Rights Act.

Civil liberties campaigners have previously voiced concern about plans to replace the current laws with a British Bill of Rights.

Mr Gove faced further questioning about the scope of the reforms when he appeared before the House of Lords EU justice sub-committee this month.

The cabinet minister said that while he hoped the new law would apply across the whole of the UK, he did not rule out the possibility that it may end up operating as an English Bill of Rights amid continuing opposition from the devolved assemblies.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already made it clear that she does not agree with the course of action being pursued by the Ministry of Justice and said she would not give legislative consent for the reforms.

“It is inconceivable – given the breadth of support which the Human Rights Act commands across the Scottish parliament – that such consent would be granted,” she said. “The Scottish government will certainly advocate that it is not granted.”

Mr Gove was also unable to answer questions about when the new Bill of Rights would be put out to consultation – the plans were originally scheduled to be released before Christmas, but are understood to have been held back by the Prime Minister amid ongoing negotiations with European leaders about Britain’s EU membership.

Lester Morrill’s public law team has experience of conducting a range of cases concerning the application of the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. For more details about our services, please contact us today.