Today’s Queen’s Speech did not include full legislation to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights in this session of Parliament. Including instead a consultation on the measure, because this was in the Conservative manifesto, is a development that indicates resistance within the Conservative Party.
‘Rather than scrapping the Human Rights Act within 100 days of a Conservative majority government taking office, the Prime Minister has changed the tone to do something better, rather than quickly.
‘The U.K. was one of the first countries to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights, in 1951. Now that we have a Government trying to chip away at that, it is gratifying to see that they have had to roll back from their rash statements. Mr Cameron said anything he could to gain a second term, and now he has been faced with reality. Those of us who see the value in the Human Rights Act need to keep making the case. It really makes it difficult to argue and legislate for better human rights in other countries if we in the UK are seen to pick and choose for political expedience when it comes to universal values.’
The Council of Europe, which hosts the Strasbourg court, is separate from the European Union, but there are close ties. Being a signatory to the Council’s European Convention on Human Rights is a precondition for joining the EU.