It was confirmed this week by Justice minister Dominic Raab, that proposals for the new British Bill of Rights would be brought forward this autumn, an act that will see the Human Rights Act abolished.
Raab himself said it would take the time to get the new bill right, and it is often stated that current Human Rights Act was itself rushed into law, with no period of consultation at the time. This time around Raab hopes to ensure that this bill will not encounter some of the criticism of its predecessor. The current Human Rights act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into British law, whilst this was designed so that matters regarding human rights could be dealt with in the British courts, without the high cost of taking these cases to European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
Raab stated that the government needed to ensure ‘a sensible application and proper respect for the Supreme Court in this country and the democratic role of [MPs] when it comes to the legislative function, and our bill of rights and proposals will be looking in those areas’.
The Human Rights Act as been a double edged sword during its time, whilst it upholds many basic rights, there have been numerous examples where these rights have been stretched to create mitigating circumstances to validate a number of controversial cases. The Bill of Rights aims to create a greater distinction in its legislation to avoid controversial and unfair rulings.
Earlier this week Ralli Criminal Law Solicitors Manchester reported on the controversy of current controversial criminal and Magistrate court charges. Richard Monkhouse, chairman of the Magistrates Association voiced the concerns of himself and his peers, questioning the validity of the charges.
This week Justice Secretary Michael Groves announced that these charges would come under review much sooner than the initial April 2016 date scheduled. Groves noted that he is aware of ‘widespread concern’ about the charges.
Time will tell whether this will result in major changes. It remains a topic of controversy.