Should the UK abolish the human rights act ? A recent survey has proven that ‘no’ was the popular majority answer with 76% (1,064,458) agreeing and ‘yes’ was a simmered 24% (337,010) people. The majority of those who choose yes agreed that it should be replaced with the Bill of rights. Whereas those who said no did also agree that criminals need to lose many of their rights as a punishment. Nevertheless the conservatives plan, disregarding the majority of the view, has in fact succeeded. Plans will shortly commence, as the justice secretary has confirmed that the Human Rights Act will change to the British Bill of Rights.
In 2015, the conservatives ironically agreed in their manifesto; that they would be abandoning the policy, in order to avoid a fight with the Scottish government. Theresa May has seen to be predominantly unveil great leverage with a controversial constitutional change. Responding to this situation in April with; “This is Great Britain, the country of the Magna Carta, parliamentary democracy and the fairest courts in the world”.
A main motive for the switch for the tories, was separating the British and European courts of Human rights. Furthermore to prevent foreign nationals, using the Human Rights act to cement their place in Britain after committing numerous offences. Also, concerns have also risen regarding the Strasbourg try to overrule verdicts that the courts and parliament, examples include: stopping the ban on prisoners voting rights and stopping life sentences, even for serious crimes committed.
The bill of rights; itself is a very conservative act, retaining previous British values. As mentioned, the conservatives hope to “restore common sense and tackle the misuse of the rights contained in the convention”. I short strategy paper was supposed to be published but no materialistic copy was provided. Hopes are; the reforms block the European court of Human rights from overruling British judgements in court.
The main roadblock for the government, Theresa May, is the say of the house of commons and the house of lords. The Guardian newspaper commented; “room for parliamentary manoeuvre could easily be restricted by a relatively small number of rebels”. Justice minister Ken Clarke and attorney general Dominic Grieve QC, believe the move will lose traditional laws and there could be issues within the European and British courts in the future. The commons did not provide a backrest for May’s opinion and instead the house of lords was seen to be more of a savior. With 224 candidates (213 labour and 101 Lib dems). With a new British Bill of Rights coming into place, only time can tell the effectiveness.