BIHR has led a joint submission to an inquiry on the effectiveness of the Human Rights Act (HRA), 20 years after it was given royal assent. 40 organisations joined voices to celebrate the contributions of the HRA (both past and present), observing how the HRA has enabled people in the UK to access local courts and tribunals to assert their rights and responded to societal and technological developments.  The joint submission particularly highlighted how the HRA has secured positive changes for a wide range of people in a wide range of situations – including health and social care, education and housing - without recourse to the court:

"The HRA section 6 duty on public officials to protect and uphold human rights has transformed how policies are developed and how public services are delivered, ensuring that people’s rights are respected. Importantly, this duty has also secured positive changes for people without recourse to the court.  There is evidence that where human rights approaches are embedded in public service delivery and policy, it positively impacts people’s lives"

The signatories include organisations working with children, women, migrants, and people with mental health issues, showing the broad spectrum of support for the HRA.  For a copy of the joint submission and full list of signatories click here

The inquiry, '20 years of the Human Rights Act', is run by the Joint Committee on Human Rights. In addition to leading the joint submission to the inquiry, BIHR also submitted our own response, focusing on the impact of implementing human rights at an everyday level. We drew on our practice-based experience of working with advocacy and community groups and frontlines services to use a human rights approach in public service delivery and policy to positively impacts people’s lives.  For a copy of BIHR's response click here.