HRA Centrepiece to Devolution Settlement
Local MP Alyn Smith has expressed grave concerns over UK Government plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and instead introduce a British ‘Bill of Rights’ to replace it. The HRA was first introduced 25 years ago to engrain the rights of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law – an arrangement under increasing attack from toxic elements of the Tory party.
Writing to the Secretary of State for Justice, Mr Smith outlines his primary concerns: that the proposed ‘Bill of Rights’ gives great powers to the UK Government to evade scrutiny, undermine long established rights in the ECHR and weaken access to justice for certain individuals.
In March 2022, the Scottish and Welsh Government’s voiced their own concerns at the proposed legislation, stating: ‘the Scottish and Welsh Governments are very clear that under the current constitutional settlement the interests of the peoples of Scotland and Wales are best protected by retaining the Human Rights Act in its current form.’
Stirling MP and SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alyn Smith said:
‘This whole situation should be ringing alarm bells for anyone who believes in human rights and the rule of law. The UK Tory Government are seeking to dismantle decades of long-established legal rights, of high international and European standard, to instead construct their own ‘Bill of Rights’. This will further remove scrutiny and weaken rights.
‘Given the track record of this UK Tory Government, it’s no surprise they’re trying to remove any checks on their powers and activities, at the risk of breaching international legal obligations. These are deeply worrying times, and I look forward to hearing some answers on what appears to be a huge power grab.’
Attached is a letter from Alyn Smith MP