Opportunity to comment on reforming the Human Rights Act

A consultation on proposals to reform the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a Bill of Rights.

The consultation, published in December 2021, follows the Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review published in July 2021. The new Bill of Rights aims to “restore a proper balance between the rights of individuals, personal responsibility and the wider public interest”.

The Foreword by The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP explains that the proposals reflect the Government’s commitment to liberty under the rule of law with the desire to “strike the proper balance of rights and responsibilities, individual liberty and the public interest, rigorous judicial interpretation, and respect for the authority of elected law-makers.”

The consultation document spans four chapters with chapter three exploring the issues that have emerged and how the HRA operates in practice and sets out the case for change. Chapter four outlines the Government’s proposed reforms.

But do the Independent Human Rights Act Review and the Government’s Bill of Rights have anything in common? Relatively little, says Nicola Barker, Professor of Law at the University of Liverpool in a blog post that featured in 1 Crown Office Row’s UK Human Rights Blog which you can read here. It’s an interesting read with a table mapping the Government’s proposals for the new Bill of Rights on to the recommended and not recommended/rejected options in the IHRAR report.

The consultation runs until 8 March 2022 and responses can be submitted online using this form. We expect it will be sometime before the Government publishes its report summarising the responses followed by an impact assessment.

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