Weekly Human Rights News: 28-10-22
We welcomed a new Human Rights Officer!
We welcomed our new Human Rights Officer, Phoebe. Phoebe brings experience working in the third and public sector and experience working with families in the SEND community, informing parents and young people of their rights and the legal process to enforce them.
Hear from Phoebe on why she’s excited to join BIHR below:
NHS staff told us how they’ve used our training to challenge unfair policies
We talked to staff working in Children and Young People’s Mental Health Inpatient Services (CAMHS) about using our Human Rights Act to make rights-respecting decisions and achieve better outcomes for residents. Participants told us that they’d used knowledge gained from previous BIHR workshops to challenge a ban on personal items that has now been removed.
The rule of law is a principle that means that every person and body, whether public or private and including the state, are subject to the law. This means that no one is above the law. The rule of law means that people can have certainty on what the law is, access that law, and seek accountability when the rules may not have been followed. This includes accountability where the executive/government may have overstepped the mark, and courts play an important role in helping people seek justice and ensure that the rule of law is applied.
News from elsewhere
Rishi Sunak took over as the UK Prime Minister
On Tuesday 25th October, Rishi Sunak became the new Prime Minister of the UK. He then re-appointed Dominic Raab as Justice Secretary. Dominic Raab was a driving force behind the Rights Removal Bill but was replaced by Brandon Lewis on 6th September 2022. He was brought back into the role of Justice Secretary on 25th October 2022 and our CEO, Sanchita, voiced her concern that this re-appointment will “reignite the obsession of scrapping our Human Rights Act in favour of Raab's Rights Removal Bill.”
Members of Parliament debated Human Rights Act reform
On Monday 24th October, MPs held a debate after the petition “Do not reform the Human Rights Act” received 231,131 signatures. In the debate, Joanna Cherry, the Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, said “During our inquiries, we heard evidence from experts with a diverse range of views and from people who have benefited from using the Human Rights Act. Having considered all that evidence, we remain of the view, which we have expressed in a number of previous reports, that the Human Rights Act is functioning as intended and enables human rights to be enforced effectively in the United Kingdom, with little need for recourse to the European Court of Human Rights. For that reason, based on the evidence we have heard and the information we have considered, we believe that the Government have failed to make the case for repealing and replacing the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights.”
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