Theresa May has long been a critic of human rights laws
The Government has repeatedly failed to meet its manifesto promise of abolishing the Human Rights Act PA
The so-called British Bill of Rights could be “junked” or rewritten by Theresa May in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, it has been claimed.
In what could be a breakaway from Michael Gove’s tenure at the Ministry of Justice, the Prime Minister has reportedly asked Liz Truss, the newly appointed Justice Secretary, to relook at the plans drawn up by her predecessor that were expected to have been announced following the referendum.
One source told the Times newspaper: “The bill is ready but my hunch is that she might junk it. I think the priority for the justice department will be prison reform and she won’t want another fight with the Scottish government [which is opposed to the policy]. I just don’t think the will is there to drive it through.”
A ministry of justice spokesperson refused to be drawn on the speculation, and told The Independent: “We will set out our proposals for a Bill of Rights in due course. We will consult fully on our proposals”.
The 2015 Conservative general election manifesto had pledged to scrap the 1998 Human Rights Act and introduce a ‘British Bill of Right’ which “will restore common sense in the application of human rights in the UK”.
The commitment promised to “remain faithful to the basic principles of human rights” but “reverse the mission creep that has meant human rights law being used for more and more purposes, and often with little regard for the rights of wider society. It added: “Among other things the Bill will stop terrorists and other serious foreign criminals who pose a threat to our society from using spurious
Writing for the Daily Telegraph in 2015, Nick Timothy, the Prime Minister’s joint chief of staff, said that Britain should withdraw from the European Convention and the jurisdiction of the court in Strasbourg.
“A new Bill of Rights that incorporates all the original articles of the European Convention – together with other traditional British rights such as the right to a trial by jury – would still be consistent with the Good Friday agreement. It would also allow Parliament – rather than Strasbourg – to decide where the balance lies between different rights,” he wrote.
“It would allow British courts and British judges to decide where the balance lies between those rights in individual cases. It would mean the UK can protect the public and national security while still defending human rights. And it would mean we can escape what has become a de facto European constitutional court: the UK should withdraw from the European Convention and the jurisdiction of the Court in Strasbourg.”