Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has unveiled a Bill of Rights that he claims would overrule decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights, such as the recent interim measure which blocked the deportation of several illegal immigrants to Rwanda.
Raab introduced the proposed Bill of Rights to Parliament on Wednesday, saying it was fulfilling a commitment made in the 2019 Conservative general election manifesto to carry out “human rights reform” following Britain’s departure from the European Union.
He said the new legislation would make it “crystal clear” that it is Parliament that decides policy, not a court in Strasbourg.
But the Bill of Rights was immediately criticised by the opposition Labour Party.
Shadow justice minister Ellie Reeves said: “This is a very dark day for victims of crime, for women, for people in care, for everyone in this country who relies on the state to protect them from harm. This is not a Bill of Rights, it’s a con ... it will create endless delays and red tape.”
No Automatic Right to Appeal in ‘Trivial’ CasesThe Bill of Rights would also boost the freedom of speech and is designed to stop “cancel culture” which prevents people with certain views being given a platform, especially in institutions such as universities.
It would also restrict the right of foreign-born residents with children convicted of crimes in Britain to fight the deportation of their family on the grounds of a “right to family life.”
The Bill of Rights would also remove the automatic right to legal recourse in “trivial” cases and would mean claimants would have to prove they had suffered “significant damage.”
Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s chief executive, said the legislation would represent “a giant leap backwards for the rights of ordinary people.”