Human Rights Act: Who Supports And Opposes Plans To Scrap Controversial Laws?

Here's Who's Actually Supporting And Opposing The Human Rights Act

Proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act have provoked extreme reactions on both sides of the debate. The plans are so divisive, there are now cracks beginning to appear within the Conservative backbench.

Here are the political figures backing and blasting the plans...

The Conservatives plan to scrap the Human Rights Act

FOR Scrapping The Act

David Cameron

The Prime Minister’s election manifesto said: "The next Conservative government will scrap the Human Rights Act, and introduce a British Bill of Rights.

"This will break the formal link between British courts and the European Court of Human Rights, and make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of human rights matters in the UK."

Michael Gove

The new Justice Secretary has been charged with the task of supervising the controversial push to abolish the act. The former chief whip will have to negotiate the tricky issue - made trickier by the tiny majority that the Tories have in government.

Nigel Farage

Farage has repeatedly criticised the Human Rights Act, claiming on Twitter: “The Human Rights Act has become an umbrella protecting foreign terrorists and criminal suspects from facing justice in their own countries.”

Nigel Farage is a strong critic of the Act

Theresa May

The Home Secretary revealed plans to abolish the Act, first introduced by Labour, at the Tory Party conference in 2013. She was applauded for finally deporting radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada after almost a decade of wrangling. She told the conference: "Some judges chose to ignore Parliament and go on putting the law on the side of foreign criminals instead of the public.

”I’m sending a very clear message to those judges - Parliament wants the law on the people's side, the public wants the law on the people's side and Conservatives in government will put the law on the people's side once and for all."

Dominic Raab

The new justice minister has previously spoken out in criticism of the Human Rights Act. One incident involved a case where police forces failed to name convicted sex offenders who went on the run because it would breach human rights and data protection ruels.

Raab said: “Police should not be having their hands tied by human rights lawyers, preventing them from taking the measures necessary to track and monitor sex offenders.

“This is precisely why we need human rights reform, and only a Conservative government will deliver it.”

Lord Faulks

Now reappointed as a justice minister, Lord Faulks will have the task of guiding the proposals through the House of Lords - no mean feat considering the strong Labour and Lib Dem presence there, according to the Guardian.

AGAINST Scrapping The Act

Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish First Minister said that she would oppose any attempt by the UK Government to scrap the Human Rights Act north of the border.

She said: "I oppose the repeal of the Human Rights Act, I think it's an appalling thing to be doing.

"Human rights are there to protect all of us, for example it was the Human Rights Act that enabled people to go to court to object against the bedroom tax.

"The idea that we take away human rights, I think, is just an awful suggestion, so the Scottish Government will oppose that and work hard to make sure that in Scotland people still get vital human-rights protection."

Nicola Sturgeon is strongly opposed to axing the Act

Ed Miliband

The former Labour leader said: "Our human rights laws have protected the rights of victims of crime, the elderly, the disabled and gay people. We shouldn't put that at risk.

"Labour has called for reform of the European Court of Human Rights. We think Strasbourg needs to do more to improve the quality of judges and give countries room to interpret decisions appropriately.

"But leaving the European Court of Human Rights, which the Tories appear to be proposing, would be a disaster for this country – putting Britain in the same bracket as Belarus."

David Davis

According to the Guardian, the Eurosceptic Tory MP could rebel against the government’s proposals to axe the Human Rights Act. He has previously criticised the act but although in favour of reform, he reportedly now opposes its abolition.

Dominic Grieve

The Tory MP has criticised his party’s plans to scrap the Act as “unworkable”, according to the Independent.

Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said that the scrapping of the Act would be a "scandalous attack" on Northern Ireland's 1998 peace agreement.

He said: "The Tory government proposal is a clear and significant breach of the Good Friday Agreement and of the international treaty that underpins it.”

Ken Clarke

The former Justice Secretary told the BBC: “I am rather bewildered by it all. As I understand it we are anxious to comply with the European convention of human rights and quite happy to accept the judgments of the European court of human rights unless the government of the day has a whipped parliamentary majority to reject the judgments that we don’t approve of. I find that rather bewildering.

“For the good of our society I don’t think that the executive of the day should be exempt from having to comply with judgments. Sooner or later, if we allow our standards to slip, some arbitrary decision will take place.”

10. Iran

10 Worst Countries For Human Rights (2012)


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