Today is the United Nations International Human Rights Day and I am supporting Labour’s call for the Government to drop their plans to repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA).
The Human Rights Act protects the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of speech, and many other crucial rights. In marking International Human Rights Day and pledging to fight against the Tory plans, it’s important to acknowledge how thousands of people across the country, from innocent victims of crime to people with a disability, rely on the Human Rights Act to protect them. That’s something we should be proud of.
Labour’s Shadow Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, said: “The Human Rights Act is one of Labour’s proudest achievements. Repealing it would be disastrous not only for people at home but for the message it would send to people around the world still fighting for the rights it protects. David Cameron and Michael Gove should listen, drop their plans now and protect our human rights.”
Labour’s Shadow Human Rights Minister Andy Slaughter, said: “International Human Rights Day is a very timely occasion to reflect on what a positive impact documents such as the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights have made to our lives in the United Kingdom.”
The Human Rights Act, passed in 1998 with cross-party support, has come under threat following a manifesto commitment from the Government to “scrap the HRA, and introduce a British Bill of Rights” and Lord Chancellor Michael Gove is expected to publish a draft bill early next year.
International Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
Links that may interest readers of this blog
Conservative Party Manifesto 2015 on ‘human rights reform’ – https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/manifesto2015/ConservativeManifesto2015.pdf#page=62
UN International Human Rights Day – http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/
Michael Gove confirms to House of Lords Constitution Committee that human rights reform will take place in 2016 – http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/gove-confirms-british-bill-of-rights-consultation-next-year/5052536.article
Last month Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn confirmed that Labour would set up a “Human Rights Taskforce” chaired by Andy Slaughter MP – http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/labour-to-set-up-human-rights-taskforce/5052385.fullarticle
Shadow Lord Chancellor Charlie Falconer has previously warned that repeal of the Human Rights Act would not get past the House of Lords – http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/may/22/falconer-scrap-human-rights-act-thrown-out-house-of-lords-gove