A good (if slightly biased) analysis of the conversation surrounding the proposed changes to our human rights legislation, published in the Huffington Post today. It avoids some of the hysterical doomsaying displayed in the left wing media (currently spiraling out of control on social media. . .), whilst pointing out the huge flaws in the government's plans to replace the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights.
It discusses some of the main negatives of the HRA'98; the "mission creep", expanding human rights beyond those enshrined in the ECHR, and the challenge to parliamentary sovereignty from foreign interference. However, it also points out the reasonably obvious ways in which the BBR will fail to address these negatives. Curiously, the discussion has echoes of the recent changes to Judicial Review, designed to put off unsuccessful claimants with spurious claims.
What's fascinating about this is that, as a law student, this discussion had been purely academic up until now. It's an experience, for sure, to see the principles expounded in my public law lectures and tutorials unfold in real life. I'd be really interested to hear opinions about this from practicing lawyers - is this motion supported by those working in the legal professions?
If you've been paying attention to party spin recently, you'll have seen our HRA suddenly rechristened "Labour's" Human Rights Act. So it's worth clearing up at the start that it was passed in 1998 with overwhelming cross-party support and Tory leadership endorsement. It was a long-held ambition of the Society of Conservative Lawyers. Yet now the new justice secretary is promising a "British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities", to "restore common sense to the application of human rights in the UK". And if he can't get Council of Europe agreement that the Bill is a legitimate way of applying the European Convention on Human Rights (which the HRA enshrines into UK law), they say they'll withdraw from Winston Churchill's post war legacy too.