Fundamental rights review

The government has launched a Balance of Competences Fundamental Rights Review to examine the balance of competences between the UK and the European Union on fundamental rights. The call for evidence runs until 13 January 2014.

The government is keen to find out views about what evidence there is that the impact of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) case law, as it is given effect through the EU's fundamental rights framework, has been advantageous or disadvantageous to individuals, business, the public sector or any other groups in the UK.

In the UK, the ECHR is given effect in domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, brought by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, specifies Respect for private and family life & Protection of personal data as fundamental rights. While individuals can enforce both EU fundamental rights and Convention rights in the UK courts, there are also many differences.

The general review on EU competences is fundamentally about ‘starting a wider debate about modernising, reforming and improving the EU in the national interest’, the government says. A separate report will be prepared between spring and autumn 2014 on information rights.

The Ministry of Justice is holding workshops in London and Edinburgh on this topic.