There’s a lot of nonsense being shared about the Conservative manifesto commitment to end the Human Rights Act. Abandoning the Human Rights Act is not about ending all human rights!
It seems silly to have to say that but, reading some articles being shared by many people on Twitter and Facebook, it’s sadly the case that I do.
Though the Conservatives do want to abolish The Human Rights Act, this would be replaced by a new British Bill of Rights. But even with this change, Britain would still remain signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
There’s more to it than this, but this — on some levels at least — is about a change in who has the final say on human rights: a European court or a UK one. The Conservatives would remove any requirement for judges to “take into account” rulings on human rights from the ECHR. That doesn’t mean the judges couldn’t or wouldn’t do so.
It may well be that our current Human Rights Act that gives Strasberg the final authority and legally embeds the ECHR in UK law provides better protection for human rights than a UK court — I’m still undecided what I think about this — but this change is categorically not about wiping out all human rights!
Like I say, I’m undecided on what I think is best. I’d be interested to know why people think the Human Rights Act would be so much better than the new Bill of Rights. I’m not interested in being — wrongly — told that the Conservatives are trying to remove all human rights. It really doesn’t help.
You can read more about this in Full Fact’s article.
I had several very helpful conversations triggered by this piece on Facebook last night. As a result, I am very much shifting towards sensing that this change proposed by the Conservatives, though far from an end to human rights, would probably be a step backwards on many levels.
I stand by the heart of what I wrote above, though, in being frustrated at the scaremongering articles suggesting the Tories are wanting to ‘end human rights’. The same goes for newspapers like the Daily Mail expressing glee over people possibly having less human rights.
None of this helps and just alienates and misleads most normal people. There is a healthy debate to be had here, and it strikes me that we’re more likely to convince enough Tory MP’s to not back the bill if we stop labelling them all as being anti-human rights.