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Welsh ministers raise ‘significant concerns’ about UK Gov plan to scrap Human Rights Act

12 Jan 2022 2 minutes Read
Westminster and the Senedd. Picture on the right by Richard Szwejkowski (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Welsh minsters have raised “significant concerns” with the UK Government’s plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, and Mick Antoniw, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, have published a joint statement setting out the Welsh Government’s conviction that people’s rights should not be weakened.

They argue that the Human Rights Act is “fundamental to Welsh democracy” and that the UK Government should not get rid of it without the agreement of the Senedd.

The Human Rights Act sets out minimum standards of how people should be treated by public bodies. The UK Government has published a consultation seeking views on replacing the Act with what they call a Bill of Rights.

Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, said: “The Human Rights Act sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to. Under the latest proposals a new Bill of Rights would not reflect some of the key principles and protections in the Human Rights Act.

“We have been clear and consistent that we will not tolerate any dilution of rights and consider it essential that the United Kingdom remains a world leader. Safeguarding and advancing human rights remains our priority and we would strongly object to any proposals that threaten that.”

‘Weaken rights’ 

Mick Antoniw, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, added: “We have significant concerns about the UK Government’s proposals that weaken rights, for example preventing a court from quashing certain secondary legislation found to be incompatible with a person’s human rights.

“The consultation appears to raise significant issues with regard to accessibility to the courts, the rule of law and the role of the Courts in the application of the law relating to human rights.

“There is also an important constitutional issue at stake. The Human Rights Act is fundamental to Welsh democracy; legislation passed in the Senedd must be compatible with the Act, so any action or change must have the agreement of all of the UK’s national legislatures.”

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Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
6 days ago

The United Kingdom: the only state in the world that actively campaigns for fewer human rights.

Independence is the only viable option for Wales if we want to live in a free and democratic society.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Independence for Wales has long appeared to me as the only logical step to take. This is especially the case if the Labour Party is serious in truly wanting to improve the lives of Welsh citizens and safeguard their rights. At the international level independence would also ensure that Wales remained in the game to promote a humane and democratic form of socialism. Unfortunately Welsh Labour has consistently banjaxed its own position through its slavish devotion to the union, undermining their own efforts to create a space for real improvements in the lives of the people. It’s an absurdity that… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Padi Phillips
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 days ago

The Welsh have never had rights let alone human rights. Where were our rights, any rights, with the Act of Union 1535-1543. where our nation was annexed & dissolved, our language banned by English royal decree. Where were our rights when the Tories enacted the Welsh Not campaign beating & abusing our children for speaking Welsh in school, then humiliated and ridiculed further by wearing a block of wood around their neck as punishment. Where were our rights when the English State flooded numerous Welsh valleys for English water consumption, in which 39/40 Wales MPs voted against but were overruled… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Y Cymro
Brechfa Smythe _ Rhydderch
Brechfa Smythe _ Rhydderch
6 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

In 1485 a proud Welshman carried the throne of Enland and established the Tudor dynasty. He entered London behind the Red Dragon of Wales. He even named his eldest son Arthur in honour of previous Welsh Kings. His heir and successor in the Welsh Tudor dynasty was Hari’r 8fed ruler of England 1509 -1547 The last of the Tudor’s Elizabeth spoke Welsh.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Let’s start at the beginning. Way back in the mid 16th century no-one had any rights, and the monarch, in this case Henry VIII (or Welsh descent, let’s not forget) was an absolute ruler – think Saudi Arabia today, but slightly less tolerant. But, as rights were extended to people, (though being English law, strictly speaking we have privileges, not rights: essentially, despite Tony Blair’s slight semantic modjfication,we’re still essentially subjects, os serfs, and not citizens. But this just the same for English people)They weren’t either Acts of Union, (not called that till the 19th century I believe) but The… Read more »

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 days ago

The Tories must not be allowed control over our human rights. A British Bill of Rights will give them that. This must not happen.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
6 days ago

Never, Never, Never trust the Tory enemy.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
6 days ago

Fascism is here. How frightening. We cannot ever let these Tories have any peace. All they know is how to destroy…

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 days ago

The UK is on the slippery path to right wing dictatorship. Time to leave as quickly as possible.

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