For immediate release

3 October 2014

Proposals are little more than an act of vandalism, says Director of British Institute of Human Rights

Stephen Bowen, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, responds to Conservative party proposals on the future of the Human Rights Act and European Convention in the UK:
“These proposals are little more than an act of vandalism.”

“Our international human rights system is a precious one, and one which the United Kingdom has championed. Our European Human Rights Court protects 820 million people across 47 countries, including all of us here at home.”

“Born out of the horrors of the Second World War, the human rights system is a remarkable achievement.  It is something to be proud of. It is very precious, but could be so easily unravelled. How sad it would be if it was the United Kingdom which began that process.”

"The proposals for a so called Bill of Rights and Responsibilities are equally dangerous, and are clearly seeking to weaken the protections that we already have in our Human Rights Act. Since the Second World War all other democracies have designed their bills of rights to be compatible with international human rights standards. Reading between the lines the proposed ‘British bill of rights and responsibilities’ is designed to distance this country from universal human rights."



  1. For a BIHR spokesperson please contact Sanchita Hosali on
  2. Founded over 40 years the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is an independent charity working to bring human rights to life here at home. We empower people to 1) know what human rights are; 2) to put them into practice achieve positive change in everyday life without resorting to the courts, and; 3) to make sure those in power respect and progress our human rights laws and systems. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to making sure the international promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, developed after the horrors of World War II, is made real here at home. Our innovative work seeks to achieve a society where human rights are respected as the cornerstone of our democracy and enable each of us to live well in communities that value the equal dignity of each person.