Human Rights Act and Judicial Review

For years, our laws and legal processes have made sure ordinary people can hold the powerful to account when they get it wrong. But plans are underway to limit and weaken these essential pillars of our democracy.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

In the UK, our laws and legal processes help people stand up to power and challenge governments and public authorities when they get it wrong.

Judicial Review

Legal processes like ‘judicial review’, are crucial to making sure power is kept in check because it gives ordinary people the ability to challenge governments and public bodies in court if they get it wrong and don’t uphold their duties.

For instance, it’s thanks to judicial review that the Ministry of Defence now owes soldiers a duty of care no matter where in the world they are stationed, all couples can enter civil partnerships, and has helped some disabled people defend their  rights during the pandemic.

Human Rights Act

And laws like the Human Rights Act mean every one of us can seek justice in British courts if our rights are breached.

Human rights are about values we all hold dear, and it’s the Human Rights Act that brings them to life.

No one above the law

But the Government is trying to weaken these important mechanisms.

It has announced a “review” of our Human Rights Act and is also looking at how the judicial review process works with a view to limiting access.

This may sound innocuous enough, but the Government plans could see them place themselves above the law.

This is part of a much more profound change on how governments – both now and in the future – are held to account which will ultimately restrict our ability to stand up to power.

In the UK, our laws and legal processes help people stand up to power and challenge governments and public authorities when they get it wrong.

WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED?

Being able to challenge governments and other public bodies is at the heart of our democracy. Restricting access to justice would effectively let the powerful dodge accountability, undermining fairness and the rule of law.

For 20 years, the Human Rights Act has been used by everyone, from soldiers, to disabled people and journalists.

It has protected our right to protest and pray, to think what we like and say what we think, and to keep our private lives private.

It protects all of us, all the time. But if we are unable to enforce our rights, they will become meaningless.

If we are unable to enforce our rights, they will become meaningless.

WHAT IS LIBERTY DOING?

No one should be above the law, especially those in power.

For society to be fair and just, we must strengthen – not limit – judicial review, and we must keep the Human Rights Act intact and accessible to all.

We must not lose our ability to challenge injustice and stand up to power. Join the campaign.

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