I. SPEAK UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Sign the petition to save your rights
The Government is trying to destroy a system that protects every one of us from abuse of power. It is shutting down the ways ordinary people hold it accountable for its actions – criminalising protest and ignoring laws and rules it doesn't like.
And now in its attempts to become untouchable, the Government wants to rip up our Human Rights Act.
This is a power grab. Fewer rights for us, more power for them.
Speak up to save your rights.
In a democratic society people must be able to stand up to power, but this Government is shutting down vital avenues ordinary people have to hold it accountable for its actions.
Its infamous Policing Bill that gives police more powers to shut down protests and criminalise demonstrators will soon become law.
So too will the Judicial Review Bill that makes it harder for people to challenge government decision-making in court – and makes it so even winning your case may not be worthwhile.
It is making ID mandatory for voting, which could stop millions from having a say in elections.
It wants to change the law to prosecute journalists and whistle-blowers who uncover dark truths.
It is sidelining our elected MPs when making and changing laws to hide from scrutiny.
And now in its attempt to make itself untouchable, the Government wants to get rid of our Human Rights Act.
GOVERNMENT PLAN TO RIP UP OUR HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
For more than 20 years the Human Rights Act has protected us all from abuse of power and enabled everyone in the UK to stand up for our rights when public authorities – like the Government and local councils – fall short. It protects us all from misuse of power.
The Government plans to rip it up and replace it with a so-called “British bill of rights” that only protects the powerful.
The Human Rights Act places an obligation on public authorities to respect our rights, and empowers people to take them to court if they don’t. For instance, the police have a duty under the Human Rights Act to properly investigate violent crimes towards women.
But the Government’s anti-bill of rights will remove these obligations to respect everyone’s rights.Find out more and take action
The main architect of the plans, Dominic Raab, speaks only of protecting “UK citizens”.
Alongside this, the Government is proposing to limit the amount of compensation someone receives when their rights are abused based on their past behaviour – which could be completely unrelated.
Ministers only want to give rights to people they think ‘deserve’ them.
That’s UK citizens only, and only then if they have always behaved how the Government thinks they ought to.
Remember, when rights are weakened for one section of society, they are weakened for all of us.
When you’re up against the power of a public authority, it’s difficult to get your case to court. And under the Government’s plans, anyone trying to do so will have to pass an extra permission stage where they have to prove they have suffered “significant disadvantage”.
And while the Ministry of Justice says the UK will stay signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, it also says rights will no longer mean the same as they do in the Convention, which will cause uncertainty for everyone involved in a legal case – the person whose rights have been abused, the public authority that breached the person’s rights, lawyers on both sides, and the judge.
This will mean that, to enforce your Convention rights that are no longer protected by the Government’s anti-bill of rights, people will have to make the incredibly time-consuming and expensive trip to the European Court of Human Rights – meaning justice may only be available to those who can afford it.Find out more and take action
Right now, judges can’t strike down Acts of Parliament (laws made by Parliament, also called ‘primary legislation’) that breach human rights. Instead, they can make what is called a ‘declaration of incompatibility’, which basically informs the Government that a law goes against human rights, and then the Government can essentially choose whether or not to do anything about it.
However, judges can strike down ‘secondary legislation’, which are laws that are made to give effect to the Act of Parliament.
Secondary legislation doesn’t get the same level of Parliamentary debate as primary legislation – and the Government has made a habit of creating new laws by secondary legislation to avoid adequate scrutiny of its proposals.
And now, plans for its anti-bill of rights include suggestions that judges should no longer be able to strike down secondary legislation. This will allow the Government to freely make regulations that violate people’s rights.