On Tuesday 3rd May, we wrote to the prime minister along with more than 50 organisations concerned about the "dire consequences" of the Government's plans to "overhaul" the Human Rights Act.

The letter comes following the Government's consultation on Human Rights Act reform, in which it set out its plans to replace our Act with its own "Bill of Rights". Read our CEO, Sanchita's, response to the consultation, in which she says:

[The Government's proposals] give the appearance of keeping the same rights whilst attempting to drive a coach and horses through the very ways in which these rights protect each and every one of us across the UK. The “problems” identified in the Government’s consultation centre on technicalities which at times bear little resemblance to reality, with a hodgepodge of selective case law and legal theory, and a romanticisation of the UK’s history, as some sort of licence to remove us from universal standards with the accountability needed to limit the power of government.

Because at its heart, our Human Rights Act, like all human rights law, is about power and people. It is about putting limits on the power of the Government and public bodies. It is about empowering ordinary people. It is about ensuring accountability so that the no one, including the Government is above the law. So of course, all governments will find human rights law inconvenient at times – let’s face it, few of us respond well to being told when we can’t do something we want. What is happening here is something quite different, and I fear it is both disingenuous and dark. We are being distracted with technical terminology, partial interpretations of the current positions, supposed tweaks to language that would in fact have wide-ranging effects on all of us, and all with assertions of “evidence” that don’t stand up to basic scrutiny.

The Government is expected to make further announcements about its plans during the Queen's Speech on 10th May. Together with Amnesty International, Liberty, Stonewall, Friends of the Earth, End Violence Against Women Coalition and Freedom From Torture, we're asking the Prime Minister for an urgent meeting to discuss three primary areas of concern:

  1. Scrapping our Human Rights Act will undermine international law and damage the UK's reputation and ability to act as a human rights advocate on a global stage.
  2. It also risks breaching the Good Friday Agreement and threatens the delicately balanced peace settlement in Northern Ireland.

  3. It would remove the current obligations on police to properly investigate violence against women and girls, making it even harder for victims to challenge police failings at a time when public confidence in that area is already in crisis.

Click here to read the full letter.