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Liberty says Justice Secretary is unable to make the case for human rights reform

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The campaign group Liberty has launched a fresh attack on the Government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.

The Prime Minister has now confirmed that the proposals to replace the legislation with a British ‘Bill of Rights’ will feature in this week’s Queen’s Speech.

Liberty has said that the move is poorly timed, given a number of recent high-profile cases in which people have used the current laws to challenge historic examples of injustice.

The Human Rights Act was a crucial part of the campaign to uncover the truth surrounding the Hillsborough disaster and also allowed for a fresh inquest into the death of a member of the armed forces at the Deepcut barracks.

There has also been a highly critical report from the House of Lords’ European Union Justice Committee, who argue that ministers should rethink their proposals.

Katie Bamber, Liberty’s head of media relations, said: “It’s the committee’s first finding which is perhaps most telling.

“After hearing evidence from British Bill of Rights champion Michael Gove, they were left ‘unsure why a British Bill of Rights was really necessary’.

“The Justice Secretary simply couldn’t make a compelling case for scrapping the HRA – in fact outlining proposals which ‘did not appear to depart significantly from the Human Rights Act’.

“If the person hand-picked by the Prime Minister to spearhead repeal can’t come up with a decent argument for doing so, what hope is there for this flagship policy?”

Liberty is one of several groups who have pledged to redouble their efforts to force the Government into a climb down.

At Lester Morrill, our Public Law team has brought numerous successful challenges where we have relied on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Human Rights Act, to protect our clients’ fundamental rights. To find out more about our services, please contact us today.