There has been a lot said about the Human Rights Act of late.
Some on the left seem to think that disengaging it will mean a tremendous loss of civil liberties, some on the right seem to think the exact opposite. So what is it? And what would removing it mean?
The Human Rights Act 1998 signs up the UK to European Convention On Human Rights (ECHR) through law, formally, and requires that public bodies, such as the judiciary must abide by the ECHR primarily over and above UK law. It also makes it easier for UK Citizens to invoke rulings by the European Court On Human Rights (also ECHR) in cases where they wish to. This is what has the right worried. It means that UK law no longer has primacy in the UK. It means that judges will increasingly make decisions that may be more about their cases not being referred to the second ECHR than on what is right and proper for the good of the UK because referral to the second ECHR reflects badly on the judge.
The European Convention On Human Rights is detailed here it’s wiki so be wary.
Some on the left seem to think that removal of the 1998 act will mean that the conventions and articles contained in it will be ignored and trodden on throughout the UK. That the police will break out the hosepipes and start the mass torture of all prisoners.
In fact they can’t. The UK agreed to the first ECHR in 1951. UK citizens have been able to use the second ECHR since the 60s. That wouldn’t change. What would change is that the UK judiciary wouldn’t be constantly looking over its collective shoulder at the second ECHR with every decision.
However if you really believe that the UK would use the lack of the 1998 law to turn the country into Zimbabwe under Mugabe then you have a lower opinion of the people therein than I do. That’s pretty low, since my view is tainted by reading DT commenters for the last few years. How can you live with people who are so awful and are only held in check by this one act?