On October 2nd, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the Human Rights Act (HRA) coming into effect.  

Britain in Europe experts, and independent experts working with our think tank and Knowing Our Rights research project, from across UK academia as well as legal professionals, NGO experts and politicians, have written to Conservative MPs and Peers, to highlight this important milestone and request that the Conservative party reflects upon the highly positive and beneficial influence that the Act has had on the lives of UK citizens.

The signatories include  Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Justice and Women & Equalities, and Shadow Leader of the House; former Labour MEP Julie Ward; former Labour MP, Roger Casale; and Baroness Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (on Exiting the European Union).

In their letter, our experts request that the government uses the opportunity of this seminal anniversary – in tandem with the forthcoming one, of November 4th, which will mark 70 years from the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in Rome – to renew the UK’s commitment to the ECHR and HRA. 

In 2015, the Conservative party manifesto pledged to repeal the HRA; the 2017 manifesto committed to stay temporarily in the European Convention on Human Rights; and the 2019 manifesto promised to “update” the HRA.

In the most recent development in this area, the Lord Chancellor, HH Robert Buckland QC MP, has stated, in a letter to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights,  that the government plans for “an independent review” into the operation of the Human Rights Act to be launched “in due course”, and that the review will look into “the balance between the rights of individuals and effective government”, in line with the 2019 manifesto.

You can read the full letter here.
Human Rights Act – Twentieth anniversary. Download • 266KB

You can see the full list of signatories below:

Prof Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Goldsmiths University of London

Dr Ed Bates, University of Leicester

Kirsty Brimelow QC, Doughty Street Chambers and Visiting Professor, Goldsmiths University of London

Roger Casale, secretary general and chief executive, New Europeans

Prof Andrew Choo, City, University of London

Jonathan Cooper OBE, Doughty Street Chambers

Prof Conor Gearty, LSE

Wera Hobhouse MP, Spokesperson for Justice and Women & Equalities, Shadow Leader of the House

Dr Kirsty Hughes, University of Cambridge

Prof Paul Johnson, University of York

Dr Ed Johnston, University of the West of England

Dr Dimitrios Kagiaros, Durham University

John King, 9 Bedford Row

Prof Francesca Klug, LSE

Prof Dora Kostakopoulou, University of Warwick

Baroness Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

Dr Dagmar Myslinska, Goldsmiths University of London

Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Visiting Professor, Goldsmiths University of London

Prof Colm O’Cinneide, UCL

Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah, LSE

Prof Julian Petley, Brunel University

Dr Hannah Quirk, King’s College

HH Jeremy Roberts QC, member of the Parole Board

Prof Paul Roberts, University of Nottingham

Jago Russell, chief executive, Fair Trials

Prof Cris Shore, Goldsmiths University of London

Maya Sikand, Doughty Street Chambers

Prof Iyiola Solanke, University of Leeds

Prof Leslie Thomas QC, Garden Court Chambers

Adam Wagner, Doughty Street Chambers and Visiting Professor, Goldsmiths University of London

Julie Ward, former MEP

Josie Welland, Rahman Ravelli

Dr Ruvi Ziegler, University of Reading

Britain in Europe Open Society Foundation Goldsmiths University
auto draft 1 e1489666230929 - Our letter to Conservative MPs and Peers

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