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UK Government ditches controversial Bill of Rights

27 Jun 2023 2 minute read
Former deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab Image by Jordan Pettitt/PA Images

The UK Government has decided not to proceed with the Bill of Rights, the Justice Secretary has said.

Alex Chalk confirmed in the House of Commons that former Justice Secretary Dominic Raab’s plans to rewrite human rights law will be officially shelved after “having carefully considered the Government’s legislative programme in the round”.

The Justice Secretary said ministers remain committed to “a human rights framework which is up-to-date and fit for purpose and works for the British people”.

Concerns had long been raised by parliamentarians, lawyers, and human rights organisations, among others, over the proposals for a new Bill of Rights.

Mr Raab had introduced the Bill during his first stint as justice secretary, but it was then shelved by Liz Truss’s short-lived government.

Once back in the Cabinet, Mr Raab was set to revive it as part of the Government’s strategy to deal with the crisis of migrant small boats crossing the English Channel but it was again thrown in thrown into doubt after his resignation.

Modernise

Speaking during justice questions on Tuesday, the Conservative chairman of the Commons Justice Committee Sir Bob Neill asked Mr Chalk to confirm whether it was the Government’s intention to “update and modernise our human rights law as necessary, but doing so whilst firmly remaining in adherence to the Convention on Human Rights”.

Mr Chalk replied: “Yes, that’s correct. I can say also that having carefully considered the Government’s legislative programme in the round, I can inform the House we have decided not to proceed with the Bill of Rights.”

He added: “But let me say that the Government remains committed to a human rights framework which is up-to-date and fit for purpose and works for the British people.

“We have taken and are taking action to address specific issues with the Human Rights Act and the European Convention, including through the Illegal Migration Bill, the Victims and Prisoners Bill and Overseas Operations Act 2021 and indeed, the Northern Ireland Legacy Bill, the last of which addressed vexatious claims against veterans and the armed forces.

“It is right that we recalibrate and rebalance our constitution over time. That process continues.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

Good news but how much money and civil service time did Raab waste?

Last edited 9 months ago by Mab Meirion
Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
9 months ago

Well, that is a surprise. I thought that the Human Rights for the Wealthy Bill was an essential piece of Market Fundamentalist legislation. How are they going to cope if the impoverished have Human Rights too?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

Conservative and Human Rights in the same sentence is a contradiction in terms.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
9 months ago

This is wonderful news. Our human rights are not any political party’s prerogative, they are ours by right.

I hope the next government will take steps to ensure that they remain out of the reach of politicians’ self-entitlement, permanently.

Karl
Karl
9 months ago

Good news, but again this useless English government wastes money and time that could be used for improvements. The lack of decent legislation going through is sickening, questions why we have those subbed drinking MP’s

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