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Thursday, 20 January 2022

Human Rights Act ReformOn 14 December 2021, the Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR) published its report on the Human Rights Act 1998. This was accompanied by the Government’s response to the Review, and a further call for evidence on questions relating to the potential reform of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Centre for Public Law submitted evidence to both the IHRAR and to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Centre also co-hosted a roadshow for the Independent Human Rights Act Review with the University of Oxford. The IHRAR cited evidence from the Centre in its report, particularly relating to dialogue beween the UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights, the importance of recognising that Parliament itself had authorised courts to provide a stronger protection of rights when interpreting legislation, and recognising the consquences for devolution were the UK courts to be able to strike down Acts of the devolved legislatures, but not strike down delegated legislation enacted by UK Ministers.

The IHRAR report also considered some of the possible suggestions for reform. In particular, the Centre suggested ways in which Parliament should be more involved in the protection of human rights. The IHRAR report also considered suggestions from the Centre that there should be limits on the ability of Ministers to use delegated legislation to overturn primary legislation in order to remedy a breach of Convention rights and their suggestion for greater remedial discretion when dealing with unlawful delegated legislation that had been used to designate a derogation from a Convention right.

The Centre will be making a further submission of evidence, which we will be working on this term. The Director and the Deputy of the Centre would like to thank all of those involved in the submission of evidence and all of those who will be working on a further submission of evidence this term.