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NI Human Rights Chief Commissioner Responds to Proposed Replacement of the Human Rights Act

14 Dec 2021

The Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has responded to the announcement that the UK Government plans to replace the Human Rights Act.

Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick stated:

“The UK Government’s plan to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights is not only unnecessary, it risks being divisive. The Human Rights Act has long protected the rights of all people in Northern Ireland and it has done so in a way that is reasonable and balanced. The ‘problems’ identified by the UK Government are not problems created by the Human Rights Act; quite the contrary.

In all our engagement with the public, we learned that what people want is greater and more effective protection, not less. That is increasingly so in the midst of a pandemic.

The UK Government’s plan continues to be based on comment, that does not appear to be supported by evidence, and risks depleting protections that are presently enjoyed.

We will wait for the detail before commenting further but call on the UK Government to listen to the people of Northern Ireland before reaching any final decision.”

The Human Rights Act Reform: a Modern Bill of Rights consultation was also announced by the Secretary of State for Justice today.


Notes to Editors

  1. Read The Independent Human Rights Act Review Full Report here. Read the Executive Summary here.
  2. The ‘Human Rights Act Reform: a Modern Bill of Rights’ consultation can be found here.

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