Amnesty International UK Briefing - Implications for Replacing the HRA
On 14 December 2021, the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Justice launched a 12-week consultation on proposed plans to effectively replace the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) with a ‘Bill of Rights’. The consultation, which concluded on 8 March, was published alongside the long-awaited report from the ‘Independent Human Rights Act Review’, though the Chair of this Panel has since stated that the consultation is not a response to his report and the two do not work together.
Amnesty International UK (AIUK) is deeply concerned about the proposals outlined in the consultation. They seek to upend the UK’s existing model of rights, and in doing so:
- Dramatically weaken people’s ability to access their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and protect themselves from violations by the State.
- Set up conflict with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) including through defining rights differently to the ECtHR, likely leading to an increased number of UK cases heard in Strasbourg and even risking non-compliance with the ECHR.
- Be at significant odds with the human rights protections enjoyed within the devolved nations and risk breaching the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.