The Bill of Rights

The UK has a long and proud history of freedom, and was a leading architect of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, it has been a long held manifesto commitment to reform the Human Rights Act through a new Bill of Rights, aimed at ensuring the system meets the needs of society.
 
As you may know, the Bill has been through a long consultation process and has now been introduced to the House of Commons. It is expected to reach second reading once the House returns from summer recess and, when it does, your comments will be very useful.
 
The reforms in the Bill of Rights Bill seek to strengthen home-grown rights and it will also recognise that trial by jury is a fundamental component of fair trials in the UK. The Bill will also make clear that the UK Supreme Court is the ultimate judicial decision-maker on human rights issues and that the case law of the European Court of Human Rights does not always need to be followed by UK courts. This will be achieved while retaining the UK’s fundamental commitment to the ECHR and, despite suggestions made recently, the UK Government is not proposing to remove the UK from the ECHR.
 
However, I do appreciate that there are some concerns about the Bill and in Parliament I recently asked the Justice Secretary about the Bill’s provisions on the identification and prosecution of human rights abuses during military operations. You can watch the question and answer here