A Labour government established the Human Rights Act in 1998, which set out Britain’s commitment to an international human rights framework. We are proud of its legacy and the overwhelmingly positive impact it has had over the subsequent 20 years.
The announcement of the Independent Human Rights Act Review is a cause for concern. The Human Rights Act has long been a Conservative bugbear and is now falsely sold as a fault-line on which Britain can demonstrate its sovereignty.
The Government’s agenda casts serious doubts on the independence of the review. The review’s terms of reference fail to ask how the Act has protected rights across the board, especially those who are most vulnerable, from care home residents to the victims of rape and sexual assault. It has been the Act that has empowered the families of British servicemen in Iraq to hold the government to account for failing our soldiers on the front line.
We will continue to make the case for one of the boldest and far-reaching Acts of Parliament that sits at the heart of the British constitution. While we await the results of the review, the Labour Campaign for Human Rights remains committed to protecting the Human Rights Act and defending the rights that it has safeguarded.