Human Rights Act, ECHR and Government accountability

Liberty responds to the Queen’s speech: an agenda to erode accountability

Posted on 11 May 2021

The speech set out a sweeping and ambitious package of undemocratic reforms.

Liberty has responded to the Government agenda set out in today’s Queen’s speech, condemning plans to erode democratic accountability in Parliament, in the courts, and through protest.

The speech given today set out a sweeping and ambitious package of undemocratic reforms – many of which are already underway – that Liberty has been campaigning against over recent months and years.

These include:

  • Restricting judicial review to make it harder to challenge the actions of public bodies – and the Government itself – in court.
  • Weakening the Human Rights Act to weaken our ability to challenge those in power and protect our rights.
  • Introducing mandatory voter ID, which could prevent millions of people from marginalised communities from voting
  • Pressing ahead with the Policing Bill, which aims to stifle protest, increase stop and search and penalise Gypsy and Traveller communities.

These proposals are being pushed through while the Government side-lines Parliament, avoids transparency and sows division. Tomorrow, Liberty will be releasing new campaign materials on how these threats to accountability are linked – and how we can fight them.

Gracie Bradley, Liberty’s Interim Director, said: “We all want to live in a fair and equal democracy. That means we must be able to hold those in power to account for their actions, but the Government is attempting to put itself above the law, undermine accountability, and silence people in the process.

“Many of the proposals set out today have been subject to fierce resistance from those of us who campaign for equality and justice. This Government appears determined to push through a regressive agenda that will harm people who are already marginalised, and erode the mechanisms available to us to hold it to account.

“This Government has repeatedly shown that it rules through division. To safeguard our rights, we must overcome these divisive strategies and unite to ensure we can all stand up to power and have our voices heard – now and in the future.”

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