The Conservative Party, who has recently won an outright majority in the general election on 7th May, promised in their election manifesto to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.
The Conservative Party, who has recently won an outright majority in the general election on 7th May, promised in their election manifesto to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. Although delaying it to after their first 100 days in office, they still intend to follow through in this election promise.
The Conservative party have raised a number of logical arguments for scrapping the Act, such as the gradual increase of influence by the European Court of Human Rights, who stretch the Convention to suit their desires. They also argue the Act undermines the rulings of UK Courts on Human Rights issues, undermines the UK’s Parliamentary sovereignty and democratic accountability to the British public. They seek to replace the Act with one which is better suited to British needs not European ones.
However the opposing arguments raises equally fair points, such as the already adequate protection of rights under the existing Human Rights Act. Allowing an external body to protect Human Rights prevents undue influence of the executive on the judiciary, which was only separated recently, thus allowing a better protection of citizens’ liberties.
The Conservative government need to ensure the Bill of Rights they introduce has large support due to their narrow majority, and if seen to be too extreme in the eyes of the public then it would only take a small number of rebels for the party to fail to pass the Act. Though not always the case with regard to legislation in a representative democracy, the power is truly in the people’s hands with this decision.