Human Rights Act Consultation
By Kurt Mills, Convenor, Glasgow Human Rights Network
The government in Westminster announced in May 2015 that it intended to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. No specific government proposals have been published yet, although the Conservative Party did publish an initial document on ‘Protecting Human Rights in the UK’ in 2014. It is expected that the government will announce a consultation on a British Bill of Rights at the end of November or beginning of December. There is concern that the repeal of the Human Rights Act could lead to a reduction of human rights protections in the UK and damage the UK’s international reputation.
In advance of the Westminster consultation, the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament launched an Inquiry, asking for evidence on how such changes might affect the enjoyment of human rights in the UK generally, and Scotland in particular, as well as the UK and Scotland’s international reputation. To respond to this inquiry, the Glasgow Human Rights Network convened a quick response workshop on 4 November to discuss the issues raised in the Inquiry and to facilitate submissions to the Inquiry. Academics, members of civil society and representatives of public authorities gathered to hear presentations from Dr. Sarah Craig and Prof. Tom Mullen from the University of Glasgow Law School, as well as Naomi McAuliffe of Amnesty International, Carole Ewart from the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, and Tanveer Parnez of BEMIS. You can download the presentations from Sarah Craig, Tom Mullen, and Naomi McAuliffe
GHRN has prepared a summary of some of the main points from the discussion which has been submitted as evidence to the Inquiry. This submission will be presented at a conference organised by the Scottish Government on 12 November.