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What's next for the Human Rights Act?

The government needs to understand the uses (and abuses) of human rights legislation before deciding whether to replace it, says Mary Hodgson

2 June 2015

One of the widely reported aims of the new government is the proposed replacement of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

The complaints about the
HRA are that it has given the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) sovereignty over the Supreme Court; the decisions of the ECtHR have moved away from the original intentions of the creators of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); and there is no common-sense approach.

The intentions of the (undrafted) Bill are to: reclaim final decisions on cases for UK courts, end the ECtHR’s ability
to change UK laws, reclassify decisions of incompatibility as advisory rather than binding, and limit human rights law to ‘the most serious cases’. Examples of serious cases are those involving criminal law, threats to liberty, and the right
to property.

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