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No evidence for Human Rights Act reform Chief Commissioner warns Westminster committee

17 May 2022

Attempts to reform the Human Rights Act have no basis and will weaken our human rights protections in Northern Ireland, NIHRC Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick has told the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The session forms part of the Committee’s inquiry into the impact of Human Rights Act reform, with Members hearing from the perspective of the devolved jurisdictions. Our Chief Commissioner gave evidence along with colleagues from the Scottish Human Rights Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Chief Commissioner Alyson Kilpatrick said:

The Commission welcomes the opportunity to give evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on this issue. We are deeply concerned by these proposed changes by the UK Government. There is no evidence to support reducing the impact of the Human Rights Act. To the contrary, there is much evidence of the need to strengthen the impact of the Human Rights Act.

The Human Rights Act has proved to be a vital tool in enforcing and protecting the human rights of all people in Northern Ireland. There are no grounds for diminishing rights protections currently enjoyed under the Human Rights Act, and any attempt to water it down will mean fewer rights, for fewer people, in more limited circumstances. Human rights are universal and should be available to all.”

ENDS

Notes

You can watch the Chief Commission’s evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights here.

The evidence session examined the role of the Human Rights Act in the four nations of the UK and the likely impact of the Government’s proposed reforms on the devolution settlements.

Read the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s response to the Human Rights Act Reform: a Modern Bill of Rights’ consultation here.

Information on the UK Government’s ‘Human Rights Act Reform: a Modern Bill of Rights’ consultation can be found here.

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