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‘Amending’ Human Rights Act is for the UK Gov, not the Senedd, says Tory Minister

21 Dec 2021 3 minutes Read
ominic Raab gives a speech at the Aspen Security Forum at the Locarno Suite inside the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in London. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

A Tory minister has said that amending the Human Rights Act “is for the UK Government”, not the Senedd.

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, has launched a consultation on overhauling the Act and replacing it with a Bill of Rights.

He said “Human Rights Act is UK-wide legislation”. The UK Government has said it would “consult” the devolved governments, but Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has suggested that it “means a tick-box exercise”.

She said that Wales has “developed a distinct body of law” in the area as a result of the Government of Wales Act, which gave the Senedd responsibility for observing “obligations under the Human Rights Convention” and asked the Conservative minister how the consultation would not “undermine the Senedd’s ability to protect and promote human rights in Wales.”

Rabb replied that he looks forward to “proving her cynicism wrong” and that the UK Government does “respect” that “devolved Administrations can legislate on human rights in areas”.

Liz Saville Roberts said: “Diolch yn fawr iawn, Mr Llefarydd. During the course of devolution, Wales has developed a distinct body of law, which safeguards specific rights arising from international law, including the rights of children and older people.

“Schedule 7A of the Government of Wales Act 2006 makes it clear that ‘observing and implementing international obligations and obligations under the Human Rights Convention’ are the responsibility of our Senedd.

“In Wales, we learn fast. We learn that, for this Government, the word ‘consult’ means a tick-box exercise. I therefore ask the Secretary of State how the proposed consultation on the UK’s international human rights obligations will not undermine the Senedd’s ability to protect and promote human rights in Wales.”

‘Devolved nations’ 

Dominic Raab replied: “We will consult not only the devolved Administrations, but practitioners, academics and civil society in all the devolved nations.

“As I mentioned earlier, the Human Rights Act is UK-wide legislation and its enactment is protected under the devolution settlement. Amending it is for the UK Government.

“However, we also recognise that devolved Administrations can legislate on human rights in areas that remain devolved competences. That is the position. We respect it and I look forward to consulting the right hon. Lady and proving her cynicism wrong.”

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Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
30 days ago

Don’t trust Raab

Grayham Jones
30 days ago

We in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
30 days ago

Eitha’ reit Liz, diolch amdanot yn codi hwn i sylw bawb.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

I don’t want the Tories anywhere near my human rights. They have a long history of abusing the Welsh people.

Erisian
Erisian
29 days ago

Raab has been gagging to tear up Human Rights legislation for years – he thinks only the Government and the rich should have any.
I would trust him only as far as I could throw him if adjacent to a cliff.

Mark
Mark
29 days ago

when the UK government is trying to get rid of our human rights, it is the responsibility of every individual in the UK and devolved governments to fight against it as hard as they can.

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