Call for evidence: The Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review
21 January 2021
The Government have set up an independent panel to review the operation of the Human Rights Act. The Joint Committee on Human Rights is seeking views to help inform its response to the independent review and its outcome.
We would welcome submissions which focus on one or more of the following issues:
- Has the Human Rights Act led to individuals being more able to enforce their human rights in the UK? How easy or difficult is it for different people to enforce their Human Rights?
- How has the operation of the Human Rights Act made a difference in practice for public authorities? Has this change been for better or worse?
- What has been the impact of the Human Rights Act on the relationship between the Courts, Government and Parliament?
- Has the correct balance been struck in the Human Rights Act in the relationship between the domestic Courts and the European Court of Human Rights? Are there any advantages or disadvantages in altering that relationship?
- Are there any advantages or disadvantages in seeking to alter the extent to which the Human Rights Act applies to the actions of the UK (or its agents) overseas?
In the Conservative party’s manifesto of December 2019, on which the current Government was elected, they committed to “update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government”. An Independent Human Rights Review Panel was appointed in December 2020, and launched a call for evidence on 13 January 2021. The terms of reference of the review focus on the operation of the Act rather than the substantive rights contained within the Convention or whether the UK should remain a signatory to it. The Independent Review has requested written evidence by 3 March 2021. A separate Independent Review of Administrative Law was appointed during 2020 and is yet to report.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights will submit written evidence to the inquiry, but our own inquiry will continue to run alongside the Independent Review.
Whilst we would welcome evidence submitted to us by 19 February to inform our initial response to the Review, we will keep our own call for evidence open until 22 March to inform any further work we carry alongside the operation of the independent review.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights invites submissions of no more than 1,500 words from interested groups and individuals. We are especially keen to hear from individuals with experiences of using the Human Rights Act and from public authorities about how the Act has influenced the way they work.
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 want to request.
The Committee reserves the right to reject or redact any evidence as it sees fit, for example if third parties are named who may not have consented to their personal details being included in the submission.
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