Our Work FOCUS: Reviews of the Human Rights Act HRA Reviews: Responses from other organisations Here we share the responses of other organisations to the Independent Human Rights Act Review and the Joint Committee of Human Rights Inquiry into the Review. Click the image below the name of each organisation to access their response. The Joint Committee of Human Rights The Joint Committee of Human Rights published their report on "The Government’s Independent Review of the Human Rights Act" on 8 July 2021. They key finding from the report was that "The evidence we heard has led us to conclude that there is no case for changing the Human Rights Act" British Association of Social Workers BASW share the the value of the Human Rights Act for social workers with the Review. "It is our position that the current Human Rights Act provides a bulwark against inappropriate or unlawful use of executive powers by the Government which might negatively impact on the most vulnerable. We recommend that the review recommends no suggested changes to the way that the Human Rights Act operates in the balance between the Courts and the Executive." The Challenging Behaviour Foundation CBF support people with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges. Their reponse focuses on the existing limits on the access that individuals with learning disabilities and their families have to human rights information and advice, and the fact that public organisations need to institute human rights cultures to better serve these individuals. "The Human Rights Actis essential to protect people, and we are pleased to see that the government has revised its 2015 manifesto position of replacing the HRA. However the HRA must be more thoroughly publicised and implemented if it is to effectively protect the rights of individuals with learning disabilities, autistic people, and their families." POhWER POhWER support people through advocacy to lead independent lives and to uphold their rights. Their response to the Joint Committee of Human Rights Inquiry shares their unique experience of the Human Rights Act, particularly its key feature of independent advocacy provision in public services. POhWER share the direct stories of those they have supported. "Our written evidence responses are directly informed by our beneficiaries lived experiences of the circumstances and problems impacting their human rights and quality of life. We gather this evidence from five groups: Partners, Service Users, Members, Community Stakeholders, and Independent Advocates working directly on these cases." Helen Moulinos The Scottish Government The Scottish Government have submitted their formal response to the Review, sharing the Scottish Government's position on the Human Rights Act, which is at the heart of Scotland's devolved constitutional arrangements and how Scotland are taking greater steps in human rights protection. "Far from attacking the Human Rights Act, the UK Government should instead follow our lead in Scotland. The focus needs to be on extending and enhancing the way human rights and equality are put into practice, in a way that benefits every member of society." Equalities and Human Rights Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville You can also read the Scottish Government's Summary Response here. The ALLIANCE The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) is the national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations in Scotland. "We believe that the HRA, in its current form, should not be diluted. Any changes to the HRA must be progressive and enhance the protections that are currently offered, not regressive. We urge the UK Government to prioritise meaningful human rights leadership to ensure that the rights that we currently have are respected, protected, and fulfilled." Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) Independent Human Right Act Review (IHRAR) Call for Evidence The Human Rights Consortium Northern Ireland The Human Rights Consortium is a human rights charity and coalition of civil society organisations from across Northern Ireland which was established in 2000. They work together towards the development of a human rights based Northern Ireland. "In our view, breaking the linkage between the ECtHR and the UK courts and changing the way Convention rights are applied via the HRA would clearly weaken existing rights protections in the UK and in turn violate the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. We therefore strongly urge the review to recommend no changes to the current application of the Human Rights Act." Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR) – Human Rights Consortium Submission to the call for evidence The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) CAJ is an independent human rights nongovernmental organisation with cross community membership in Northern Ireland and beyond. CAJ seeks to secure the highest standards in the administration of justice in Northern Ireland by ensuring that the government complies with its international human rights obligations. "We consider any amendment or weakening of these protections to be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement, which could lead to a potential undermining of one of the most successful underpinning elements of our hard-won peace process." CAJ Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review (IHRAR) Equally Ours Equally Ours is a network of over 60 national organisations committed to making a reality of equality and human rights in people’s lives. "We all want to live in an equal, just and fair society, where the gov & public bodies act in our best interests. But sometimes they get it wrong and, when they do, we need effective tools to fix it. These tools are our human rights, protected in law by the Human Rights Act." Equally Ours Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review The Human Rights Consortium Scotland The Human Rights Consortium Scotland is a civil society network of 110 member organisations whowork together to protect human rights in Scotland. "The submission strongly recommends that no changes be made to the Act which would result in it having less impact on law and policy, service provision or protecting individuals from human rights abuses. It also emphasises the impact that any changes to the Act may have on Scotland’s devolution agreement." Human Rights Consortium Scotland Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review The Joint Committee on Human Rights The Joint Committee on Human Rights consists of twelve members, appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to examine matters relating to human rights within the United Kingdom, as well as scrutinising every Government Bill for its compatibility with human rights. "On the basis of evidence heard to date, the Committee have found that there is no compelling case for reform of the HRA under the Independent Review’s Terms of Reference." The Joint Committee on Human Rights Response to the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act Liberty Liberty is an independent membership organisation who challenge injustice, defend freedom and campaign to make sure everyone in the UK is treated fairly. "Over the past two decades the Human Rights Act has played a significant role in giving individuals the power to enforce their rights in practice. We are deeply concerned that many of the proposals the review is considering would limit the ability of the courts to provide direct remedies when they find a human rights violation has taken place." Liberty Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review JustRight Scotland JustRight Scotland is a charity founded by human rights lawyers who use the law to defend and extend people’s rights by providing direct legal advice to people who would otherwise struggle to access justice. "We maintain that the current devolution settlement relies, in part, on the unified approach across the four nations to protection offered by our core human rights framework – the ECHR as incorporated through the provisions of the HRA - and that amendment to the HRA may require consequential amendments to the devolution settlement and potentially consent of the devolved authorities." JustRight Scotland Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities SCLD is an independent charity and non-governmental organisation working to create an environment in Scotland where systems and cultures are changed to ensure people with learning disabilities can live the life they want to. "For SCLD the HRA offers significant protections for people in the UK and Scotland. At SCLD we regularly use the HRA to make the case for policy and legislative changes to ensure the rights of people with learning disabilities are respected, protected and fulfilled." SCLD Response to the Independent Review of the Human Rights Act René Cassin René Cassin is a human rights organisation that promotes and protects universal human rights, drawing upon Jewish experience and values. "Drawing on Jewish experience, we cannot support any attempt to weaken a framework that gives practical expression to the idea that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and receive equal access to justice. The Human Rights Act protects victims of crime, the wrongly accused, disabled people, the mistreated, and the elderly. It has allowed countless people to pursue justice here in the UK and is an instrument the values of which should be respected, not diminished." René Cassin Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review Reunite Families Reunite Families work with and campaign on behalf of families who have been divided by the British government's immigration policy. "Our concern now is that radically replacing the HRA will simply provide a licence for Government to run roughshod over the lives of everyone, including the most vulnerable, be they citizens or not, and we call for the review to recommend no suggested changes to the way that the Human Rights Act balances executive power." Reunite Families UK’s Response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review Call for Evidence. The Law Society of Scotland The Law Society of Scotland, established in 1949, is the professional and regulatory body for Scottish solicitors. It seeks to influence the creation of a fairer and more just society through active engagement with the Scottish and United Kingdom governments, parliaments, wider stakeholders and our membership. The review is into the Human Rights Act 1998 but it is important to point out at the outset that questions as to whether Acts of the Scottish Parliament or subordinate legislation or other executive acts by Scottish Ministers are incompatible with Convention rights, are usually not dealt with under the HRA (although they could be) but under the Scotland Act 1998. The Law Society of Scotland's response to the Independent Human Rights Act Review Call for Evidence.