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
Disability rights currently safeguarded by EU legislation may be under threat, while grant funding could be withdrawn without replacement
The US can keep Abu Hamza for the UK does not wish him back. He dares to quote Human Rights when he himself has taken rights away from others. It is because of persons like Hamza that Human Rights have been brought into disrespect.
The European Court of Human Rights should when making their judgements take into account of the actions of those bringing the cases to them and respect the Rights of the majority in the UK.
Hamza, 58, was jailed for life for terrorism offences during a trial in New York city last year, and has been serving his sentence in solitary confinement at a prison in Florence, Colorado.
Joint Committee on Human Rights launches an inquiry into the Brexit human rights implications
Russia, family rights, i’m a person
MPs have been warned by a prominent activist that legalising assisted suicide would mean that some disabled people would die as a result of “exploitation and abuse”.
The user-led organisation Not Dead Yet UK held a lobby of MPs this week in a bid to persuade them to vote against the latest attempt to persuade parliament to legalise assisted suicide.
About 25 MPs attended the packed event, which was addressed by two leading disabled opponents of legalisation, the crossbench peer Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson, and the actor and performer Liz Carr.
A private member’s bill put forward by the Labour MP Rob Marris will reach its first key stage on 11 September, when it is debated and voted on in the Commons.
The legalisation of assisted suicide is fiercely opposed by much of the disabled people’s movement, who see the battle to prevent such a law as a key disability rights issue.
Carr told MPs that the main weapons of the organisation pushing the bill, Dignity in Dying (formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society), were “misinformation, emotion and fear – fear about pain, dependence and disability”.
She said she was campaigning on behalf of disabled people who were unable to speak in their own defence and “don’t have access to the drugs, housing, social care, support and choice they would like”.
She told MPs: “If this bill becomes law, some disabled and vulnerable people will be subjected to exploitation and abuse and will die as a result.
“The very reason we don’t allow capital punishment in this society is because the best police investigation and the best judges can come to the wrong conclusion and execute an innocent person.
“This bill if passed will also mean that innocent people get killed. The current law protects people against this kind of abuse. It does not need changing.”
Carr was later joined by other NDY UK members as she delivered a letter to Downing Street outlining arguments against the proposed law, thanking the prime minister for his own opposition to legalisation, but expressing “deep concern” about his intention to allow Conservative MPs a free vote on the issue.
Carr told Disability News Service after the lobby that opposition from disabled people to assisted suicide was often side-lined by the media and in parliament, and the event had been an opportunity to put those views across to politicians.
She said it was vital to explain to MPs that opposition to the bill was coming from disabled people with decades of experience of disability activism, and understanding of key disability rights concepts such as the social model of disability.
Carr contrasted that with those backing the bill, who often relied on opinion polls and non-disabled celebrity backers.
Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights has dismissed appeals by two British people seeking changes in the law that would allow disabled people help to end their lives.
The court declared the applications by both Tony Lamb and Jane Nicklinson to be inadmissable.
Lamb is almost completely paralysed after a car crash and wants legal permission for a volunteer to give him drugs to end his life, while Nicklinson was seeking a change in the law on behalf of her husband Tony, who died in 2012, and had locked-in syndrome.
Nicklinson had argued that the domestic courts had failed to determine the compatibility of the law in the UK on assisted suicide with her and her husband’s right to respect for private and family life, but the European court declared this application to be “manifestly ill-founded”, and also found that her complaint had already been examined by the UK Supreme Court.
Lamb’s case was declared inadmissible for “non-exhaustion of domestic remedies”, as some of his complaint had not been heard by the Supreme Court.
News provided by John Pring at www.disabilitynewsservice.com
The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the decision of a court in France to allow a paralysed man to be taken off life support.
Vincent Lambert, 39, has been in a coma for seven years after a motorcycle accident left him tetraplegic.
His family have been split over whether he should be kept alive.
The case was taken to the European court last year after France’s highest court had ruled in favour of ending his life support.
It sparked fierce debate in France where euthanasia is illegal, although doctors can withdraw care under a 2005 passive euthanasia law.
The court in Strasbourg ruled on Friday that the decision to stop intravenously feeding Mr Lambert did not violate European rights laws.
‘No relief, no joy’
Mr Lambert has been kept alive with the use of intravenous food and water at a hospital in Reims in north-eastern France.
His wife Rachel and some of his brothers and sisters had agreed with doctors’ recommendation that his life should be ended as there was no hope of recovery.
The doctors said Mr Lambert had shown signs last year of resisting treatment, and Rachel Lambert said her husband would “never have wanted to be kept in this state”.
“There’s no relief, no joy to express. We’d just like his will to be done,” she said after the ruling.
But Mr Lambert’s parents – who are said to be devout Roman Catholics – and other siblings say he has shown signs of progress and believe he just needs better care.
“They are trying to make us say we don’t want him to go, but it is not at all the case, we don’t want him to be snuffed out,” his mother Viviane said earlier this year.
They took the case to Strasbourg after France’s highest court ruled last year in favour of ending Mr Lambert’s life support.
And their lawyer hinted before the ruling that they would fight on if it went against them.
Jean Paillot said the decision to stop life support “was taken by a doctor and can only be carried out by this doctor”, who is no longer in charge of Vincent Lambert’s care. He said they would seek a new medical decision through the French courts.