Truss government abandons Bill of Rights

Truss government abandons Bill of Rights

The UK government’s proposed Bill of Rights has been abandoned.

The bill was due to have a second reading in Parliament next week. The government is now, however, “reviewing the most effective means to deliver objectives through our legislative agenda” and the Bill of Rights is “unlikely to progress in its current form”.

The legislation has met with widespread criticism. The Faculty of Advocates stated earlier this year: “Of particular concern is what has been described as introducing ‘common sense to the justice system’. The judiciary already strives to arrive at decisions which ‘make sense’. The plea for ‘common sense’ is a populist one, designed to justify the executive arrogating to itself (or, more accurately, to the legislature, which the executive will often control) the ability to decide what ‘makes sense’ in this area, rather than leaving it to the judiciary independently to determine what human rights law requires.

Ian Duddy, chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said the bill would “water down human rights protections”.

Murray Etherington, president of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “For over 70 years we have benefited from the protections offered by the European Convention on Human Rights. Since 1998 those rights have been built into UK and Scottish law and it is vital that they are not diminished as a result of new legislation.”

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