There have long been attempts to “scrap” the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. But while none have gained traction to date, parliamentarians have recently raised concerns that the government could be wavering in its commitment to the act post-Brexit.
The House of Lords’ EU justice sub-committee said in January that it was worried to see the government change the wording of the political declaration it agreed with the EU, which sketches out a non-binding vision for what the UK’s relationship with Europe will look like after Brexit.
In its draft form, the declaration said that the future relationship should incorporate the UK’s “commitment” to the convention. However, by the time the final version was published in November 2018, that had changed to a commitment to “respect the framework” of the convention.
The committee wrote to the government for clarification and received a response from Edward Argar, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for justice, who stated that the government would not repeal or replace the act while Brexit is ongoing but that “it is right that we wait until the process of leaving the EU concludes before considering the matter further”.
Responding publicly, committee chairman Helena Kennedy said that this was a “troubling” reply, noting: “Again and again we are told that the government is committed … but without a concrete commitment”.
Source: UK Human Rights Act is at risk of repeal – here’s why it should be protected : The Conversation
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has just won a court case. It is one which will now set a staggering precedent. Because it effectively means the DWP can ignore benefit claimants’ human rights when it comes to the welfare state.
Back in November 2016, Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichael successfully beat the government in court over the so-called “bedroom tax”. They argued the tax was discriminatory under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as Jacqueline cannot share a bedroom with her husband because of her impairments. And the court agreed, setting a precedent for other claimants.
The DWP challenged the decision, but lost.
But as politics.co.uk reported, it was back in court in February. The DWP was using the Carmichaels’ case to try and stop tribunal judges using the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to rule in favour of benefit claimants. Essentially, it’s saying that, if people claim it has broken human rights laws, this evidence will not be admissible under tribunals. And on Tuesday 20 March, a court agreed, ruling that benefit claimants can only argue against the DWP on human rights grounds in the High Court, not at tribunal level.
Ignoring human rights
Source: The DWP just won a court case literally allowing it to ignore disabled people’s human rights | The Canary
Disabled people set a precedent. And the DWP didn’t like it.
Back in November 2016, Jacqueline and Jayson Carmichael successfully beat the government in court over the so-called Bedroom Tax. They argued the tax was discriminatory under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as Jacqueline cannot share a bedroom with her husband because of her impairments. And the court agreed, setting a precedent for other claimants.
The DWP is not one to concern itself with human rights, judges and the law, though. So, like a blocked septic tank it just kept re-emerging from its rancid cesspit in Westminster trying to fight the original decision in other courts. And it repeatedlylost.
Source: The DWP has now sunk so low, it’s in court trying to block human rights laws : Govt Newspeak
When you put together the efforts of the Spanish authorities to curb media coverage of the Catalan referendum, you have a deeply worrying picture.
Source: Spain’s disregard for Catalan press freedom is setting a dangerous precedent : The Conversation
The government’s “bedroom tax” discriminates unlawfully against disabled children, the court of appeal has ruled. The appeal court, which overturned a high court decision, was hearing the case of two disabled grandparents who care for their disabled grandson in an adapted three-bedroom bungalow in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The court also ruled that the bedroom tax – or the spare room subsidy removal (SRSR), as it is called by the government – discriminates against victims of domestic violence, after hearing the case of a woman whose home had been adapted to include a “panic room” to protect her from a violent ex-partner. The appeal court had heard that Paul and Susan Rutherford had been found to be “under-occupying” their home and had their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent, even though their 15-year-old grandson Warren, who lives with them, needs 24-hour care from at least two people at a time. Two paid care workers stay overnight in their bungalow at least twice a week, but the
Source: Bedroom tax discriminates against disabled children, say appeal court judges | DisabledGo News and Blog
Prisoners human rights for IVF
So the Human Rights legislation strikes again, but why is it always on the side of the wrong people. Where are the rights of the law abiding decent people of the UK. In this instance the act is being used to confer rights for prisoners to have IVF.
I wonder if it would be possible for all of us to bring a Human Rights case saying, respecting the human rights of prisoners, was an infringement of our own human rights, perhaps Liberty (Human Rights) could bring the action on behalf of us. I wonder if the ECHR would decide in our favour.
Alternatively, could the loss of human rights be made a stated part of the sentence.
What ever needs to be done as to be done to right this wrong.