Government proposes radical reform of the Human Rights Act

The government issued a 123 page consultation paper on 14 December on its proposed changes to the Human Rights Act. While the government says the UK remains committed to the European Convention on Human Rights, it seeks to empower domestic courts to apply human rights in the UK context. “The Bill of Rights will make clear that the UK Supreme Court is the ultimate judicial arbiter of our laws in the implementation of human rights,” the consultation document states. The government argues that this change would allow the UK to take into account its common law traditions and judicial practice amongst other common law nations, not merely the case law of the Strasbourg based European Court of Human Rights.

The government says that the case law on freedom of information v privacy of the Strasbourg Court has ‘shown a willingness to give priority to personal privacy’.

Much of the consultation focuses on deportation of foreign criminals and the rights of prisoners with the intention to ‘deter spurious human rights claims’.

The consultation by the Ministry of Justice closes on 8 March 2022.