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Call for Evidence

Human Rights Ombudsperson

Terms of Reference

The Joint Committee on Human Rights is exploring whether a Human Rights Ombudsperson should be created, and whether this would improve how people enforce their rights out of court. This follows the Committee’s previous work on enforcing human rights and scrutiny of the Government’s proposals to reform the Human Rights Act 1998. As part of that work, we have recommended that more could be done to improve how human rights are enforced without the need to take legal action. A Human Rights Ombudsperson is one reform that has been suggested.

We would welcome responses to the following questions:

  • Should there be a Human Rights Ombudsperson? If so, what powers and resources would the ombudsperson need to address the challenges people face in enforcing their rights out of court?
  • What powers would the ombudsperson need to ensure they provide an effective remedy, as required by Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights, for individuals trying to enforce their rights?
  • How would the Human Rights Ombudsperson interact with existing mechanisms such as ombudspersons and Commissioners, including in the devolved nations?
  • How would the Human Rights Ombudsperson interact with other bodies tasked with upholding human rights, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission?
  • Are there other steps that should be taken alongside introducing a Human Rights Ombudsperson to ensure people can effectively enforce their rights out of court?

Important information about making a submission

Written evidence must address the terms of reference as set out above, but please note that submissions do not have to address every point. Guidance on giving evidence to a select committee of the House of Commons is available here.

In line with the general practice of select committees the Joint Committee on Human Rights is not able to take up individual cases. If you would like political support or advice you may wish to contact your local Member of Parliament.

The Committee will decide whether to accept a submission and whether to publish it on its website.  All written evidence will be considered by the Committee, whether or not it is published. If your submission is accepted by the Committee, it will usually be published online and will be available permanently for anyone to view. It can’t be changed or removed. If you have included your name or any personal information in your submission, that will normally be published too. Please consider carefully how much personal information you need to share. If you include personal information about other people in your submission, the Committee may decide not to publish it. Your contact details will never be published.

If you would like to ask the Committee to accept your submission anonymously (meaning it will be published but without your name), or confidentially (meaning it won't be published at all), please say at the start of your evidence which of these you request, and tell us why. This lets the Committee know what you would like but the final decision will be taken by the Committee.

If your evidence raises any safeguarding concerns about you or other people, then the Committee has a duty to raise these with the appropriate safeguarding authority.

If you have immediate safeguarding concerns about yourself or someone else or specific allegations of illegal practices, you should contact the Police on 999.

We can’t publish submissions that mention ongoing legal cases – contact us if you are not sure what this means for you.

 

Please send submissions of no more than 3,000 words through the online portal by 23 June.

 

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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