Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
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Equality and Human Rights Commission submission to the Bill of Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says Britain needs to defend or build on the Human Rights Act, in its first submission to the Government’s Commission on a Bill of Rights.

The regulator says that this domestic human rights legislation has allowed many people to exercise their basic rights without the time and expense of taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Commission says the mechanisms of the Human Rights Act are essential for the protection of human rights in the United Kingdom. It also argues that the law is well crafted to balance Britain's international obligations with its constitutional conventions. In particular, the Act preserves parliamentary sovereignty and the role of British judges in interpreting the legislation.

John Wadham, Group Director of Legal, said:
‘We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the debate on a possible UK Bill of Rights. Our position is that if any Bill of Rights were developed it should only build on the rights and mechanisms contained in the Human Rights Act.'

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.

For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

The Commission on a Bill of Rights

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has responded to the Commission on a Bill of Rights which has been asked by the Government to explore the case for a new British Bill of Rights.

The Commission on a Bill of Rights is independent of Government and was established on 18 March 2011.

The Commission on a Bill of Rights has the following terms of reference:

  • It will investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in UK law, and protects and extend our liberties.
  • It will examine the operation and implementation of these obligations, and consider ways to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.
  • It should provide interim advice to the Government on the ongoing Interlaken process to reform the Strasbourg court ahead of and following the UK’s Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.
  • It should consult, including with the public, judiciary and devolved administrations and legislatures, and aim to report no later than by the end of 2012.

 

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