Conservatives plan to scrap Human Rights Act

chris-grayling


Justice Secretary Chris Grayling proposed the plans after David Cameron told the Conservative Party conference he intended to end what he called Strasbourg’s meddling in trivial cases.


Mr Grayling said the “mission creep” by European courts on issues such as voting rights for prisoners had become intolerable and the new Bill would relegate European judges to an advisory role.


“We will put in place a provision that will say the rulings of Strasbourg will not have legal effect in the UK without the consent of parliament,” he said.


The Bill would include principles from the European Convention on Human Rights, but UK judges would not be obliged to take Strasbourg rulings into account when coming to decisions.


“What we have effectively got is a legal blank cheque, where the court can go where it chooses to go,” Mr Grayling added.


“We will put in place a provision that will say that the rulings of Strasbourg will not have legal effect in the UK without the consent of parliament.


“Effectively what we are doing is turning Strasbourg into an advisory body.”


But the plans have come under fire from civil-rights group Liberty which declared the proposals provocative and illegal.


Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said: “As legally illiterate as politically provocative, this plan would gamble with our fragile Union and put us in breach of international law.


“This so-called British Bill of Rights would diminish everyone’s freedoms and make Government even less accountable in the future.”


Labour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said there were “so many contradictions, inaccuracies and myths” in the proposal, it could only have been “cobbled together on the back of an envelope”.


The Labour MP went on: “Once again, David Cameron is pandering to UKIP instead of standing up for the rights and best interests of the people of Britain.


“The truth is that our courts have been free to interpret rulings by the European Convention on Human Rights for 50 years – the Human Rights Act did nothing to change that fact.”


“The European Court of Human Rights does need reform, which is why Labour has called for Strasbourg to do more to improve the quality of its judges and give member states the wriggle room to interpret decisions appropriately.


“But leaving the ECHR, which the Tories appear to be proposing, would be a disaster for this country – putting Britain in the same bracket as Belarus, Europe’s last remaining dictatorship.”






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Conservatives plan to scrap Human Rights Act
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