British Bill of Rights, Put Simply

Theresa May has already suggested that she will NOT be following through with her plans to instate a “British Bill of Rights” to replace the Human Rights Act. Originally, and during her campaign for the Conservative leadership, she was criticized for her plans and deemed to be “anti-human rights.” This is, by all intents and purposes, a ridiculous statement. The cases for and against the Bill of Rights are outlined here, and no arguments for the bill are due to any individual’s crusade against human rights. Even so, the argument is a controversial one:

For Against
The UK, unlike most democratic European states, doesn’t have a “charter/bill of rights” protected by law. The BBoR would give it one The bill is irrelevant – some argue that it would simply fill the role that the Human Rights Act (HRA) already fills
A Bill of Rights would extend and protect British liberties by ensuring that rights and freedoms lined up with British cultures and traditions The further human rights are extended; the more power courts of law have to get involved with people’s private lives. Many people hate the idea of the state governing all aspects of their lives
The Human Rights Act means that domestic (national, not international) courts have to take into account decisions made in Europe. This can mean that British court cases take much longer than intended. Often, European decisions don’t make sense for the country in question The European Court of Human Rights has made several essential interventions over the years: such as the legalization of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. It would be wrong to turn our backs on it when it has given us so much


Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act (1998) was brought into law by the government of the UK. The purpose of the act was to make the articles of law set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (eg: right to life, right to freedom of expression, right to a fair trial,) law in the United Kingdom. The act makes it illegal for a government to act in a way which is against the guidelines of the ECHR.

The main argument against repealing the act in favour of a British Bill of Rights is that the ECHR prevents the British government from deporting foreign criminals who have claimed asylum in the UK.

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