Bill of Rights

The Commission has published a response to the Commission on a Bill of Rights, The case for the Human Rights Act. This provides an analysis and evidence of why all the mechanisms of the Human Rights Act (HRA) should be retained. It also argues that rather than repealing the HRA, the focus should be on improving the understanding and application of the HRA

The Commission believes that individuals gain essential protection from human rights violations through the HRA, and that it must be protected and preserved. The HRA is well crafted to balance Britain's international obligations with our constitutional conventions. In particular, it maintains parliamentary sovereignty and a primary role for judges in the interpretation of the Convention.

The Commission will be producing two further responses to the Commission on a Bill of Rights over the next few months:

  • a response on what possible additional human rights beyond those in the European Convention on Human Rights may need incorporating in our domestic law;
  • a response on the role and reform of the European Court of Human Rights.

The government established an independent Commission on a Bill of Rights on 18 March 2011. It has the following terms of reference:

"The Commission will investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in UK law, and protects and extend our liberties.

It will examine the operation and implementation of these obligations, and consider ways to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.

It should provide interim advice to the Government on the ongoing Interlaken process to reform the Strasbourg court ahead of and following the UK's Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

It should consult, including with the public, judiciary and devolved administrations and legislatures, and aim to report no later than by the end of 2012."

You can also review our previous responses and research on a Bill of Rights below.

Last Updated: 04 Feb 2014