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100+ charities push for no repeal of Human Rights Act

21 October 2020

DR UK has joined over 100 charities, human rights organisations, trades unions, and religion or belief groups, in signing a statement to protect human rights and judicial review.

The coalition, co-ordinated by Humanists UK, has formed in response to growing pressure from the UK government to review both of these areas of our constitutional law, potentially with a view to scaling back, weakening, or repealing protections. This follows the launch of a panel to examine the case for reforming judicial review powers including exempting certain subjects or government actions from being judicially reviewable at all. The government has also indicated that it will look to reform the Human Rights Act.

The coalition’s statement says:

“While every system could be improved, and protecting rights and freedoms for all is a balancing act, our Human Rights Act is a proportionate and well-drafted protection for the fundamental liberties and responsibilities of everyone in this country.

The Act guarantees the rights to free speech and expression, to life, to liberty, to security, to privacy, to assembly, and to freedom of religion or belief. It prohibits torture and guarantees fair trials and the rule of law.

Judicial review is an indispensable mechanism for individuals to assert those rights and freedoms against the power of the state. Any government that cares about freedom and justice should celebrate and protect these vital institutions and never demean or threaten them.”