Government promises ‘sensible’ review of Human Rights Act by the summer

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland speaking in the House of Commons

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland speaking in the House of Commons - Credit: PA

A review of the Human Rights Act will be published in the summer, the justice secretary has confirmed.

Robert Buckland said the examination of the legislation will be “sensible and measured”, amid concerns over the government’s approach.

Speaking in the Commons, Buckland said: “The government established the independent Human Rights Act review to examine the framework of the Act, how it is operating in practice and whether any change is required.

“The review will consider the approach taken by the domestic courts to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and it will also examine whether the Act currently strikes the correct balance between the roles of the courts, the government and parliament.

“It will then consider whether, and if so what, reforms might be justified and it will report back in the summer, and their report will be published as well as the government’s response.”

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He added: “The review is all about the framework of the Act itself, it’s not about the scope of convention rights that are scheduled within it, and the two issues should not be confused either accidentally or intentionally.”

Anne McLaughlin, the SNP’s justice spokeswoman, asked: “Does this government simply not recognise human rights and the need for robust legislation?”

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Buckland replied: “This isn’t about the ambit of convention rights, this is a sensible and measured review of the mechanism that we have here domestically.

“It involves representatives from all corners of the United Kingdom, very much including Scotland.

“It is a balanced panel with a diversity of thought and I am confident that it will produce robust and important recommendations.”

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