Purpose of the session
In December, the Government launched a consultation into proposals to reform the Human Rights Act. The proposals include replacing the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights, reducing both the role played by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the ability of the domestic courts to ensure that legislation is read compatibly with our rights. The Government has stated they want to place greater emphasis on protecting freedom of speech, enshrine the right to trial by jury and prevent abuses of the justice system. The Government argues that such reforms would make it easier to deport foreign criminals and cement Parliament’s position as the ultimate decision maker on UK laws.
In this opening session, the Committee will explore the implications of the proposed reforms. It will focus in particular on the potential change in the relationship between domestic courts, Parliament and the government. It will also hear evidence on how the Government’s proposals would alter the relationship between UK courts and the European Courts of Human Rights.