Disability Rights UK challenges the Bill of Rights on a parliamentary panel

Thu,9 February 2023
News Equality & Rights

On the 1st of February, Equally Ours arranged a parliamentary event – hosted by Shadow Minister for Justice Ellie Reeves MP – on the importance of the Human Rights Act.

Bethany Bale, DR UK Rights and Justice Policy and Campaigns Officer, was on the panel alongside representatives from Age UK, Runnymede Trust, Mind, The Children’s Society, and End Violence Against Women Coalition. Each member of the panel presented how the Human Rights Act protects each group, and how the Bill of Rights proposals would damage our rights.

More information can be found on the Equally Ours website. Disability Rights UK’s contribution to the briefing is attached below. 

All members of the panel, including MPs and campaigners who attended the event, agreed that the Bill of Rights must be immediately withdrawn and that the Human Rights Act must be protected.

Bethany Bale, Policy and Campaigns Officer, said “Withdrawing the Human Rights Act puts everyone at dangerous risk, but especially Disabled people whose rights are already too often seen as optional. The proposals put forward will lead to greater discrimination, but they will also remove the legal basis by which we can currently challenge rights violations. The Government also intend to introduce new barriers to accessing justice like the ‘permission stage’ when the criminal justice system is already completely inaccessible to Disabled people.

Most concerning is the dangerous precedent that the Bill of Rights would set – categorising those ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ of human rights. Human rights are not conditional.

The immediate impacts of this bill will be catastrophic for everyone, especially Disabled people, but what’s almost more concerning is what will be enabled to follow this legislation if the Bill of Rights is passed.

The Human Rights Act cannot be withdrawn.”

DR UK Briefing on the Bill of Right's impact on Disabled people