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We’ve Signed a Joint Statement to Protect the Human Rights Act

Concerned at the UK Government’s intentions to review the human rights framework and judicial review, we have come together with numerous organisations, charities and trades unions to present a joint statement.

Published: 17 February 2021 | 11:27 AM Updated: 30 April 2021 | 2:18 PM
Photograph of a crowd of people, perhaps an audience. We're viewing them from behind in silhouette, a bright light is shining towards us.
Our Human Rights Act is a proportionate and well-drafted protection for the fundamental liberties and responsibilities of everyone in this country. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Concerns were raised when in July 2020, the UK Government launched a new panel to examine the case for reforming judicial review. This move led lawyers and human rights organisations to warn that citizens’ fundamental rights and constitutional protections could be undermined.

We’ve signed a joint statement which makes these concerns clear:

While every system could be improved, and protecting rights and freedoms for all is a balancing act, our Human Rights Act is a proportionate and well-drafted protection for the fundamental liberties and responsibilities of everyone in this country.

The Act guarantees the rights to free speech and expression, to life, to liberty, to security, to privacy, to assembly, and to freedom of religion or belief. It prohibits torture and guarantees fair trials and the rule of law.

Judicial review is an indispensable mechanism for individuals to assert those rights and freedoms against the power of the state.

John Shortell, MU Equalities Diversity & Inclusion Official explained the union’s move:

“Any review of the Human Rights Act that seeks to weaken its protections or make it harder for people to access justice must be resisted.

"The Human Rights Act helps protect the most vulnerable in our society and should only ever be strengthened and routes to justice improved. The MU fully supports the campaign to protect the Human Rights Act and judicial review.”

Find out more about the Campaign to Protect Human Rights and Judicial Review on the dedicated campaign website.

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