News from BIHR

The Human Rights Act Review: find out what we’re doing & how to get involved!

On 13th January 2021, the Government’s Independent Review published its consultation questions. This Review is looking at how the Human Rights Act (HRA) is working in practice and whether any change is needed.

The questions are narrow, focussing on how the HRA works in courtrooms, and the relationship between government, parliament and the courts. This does not reflect 20 years of the HRA’s operation. We know from working with people, community organisations and public bodies that the HRA can be a powerful practical tool for advocacy, for planning, delivering and securing rights-respecting services, and to support calls to change policy and legislation which is not rights compliant.

How you are using the HRA in everyday ways really matters but may be missed in the Review. That’s why we’ve created lots of resources to support you to have your voice heard in the Review! Find all our resources here.

As part of this, we’re holding three free HRA Upskilling Sessions throughout February 2021:

  1. For people, self-advocates, loved ones, carers & community groups – 2nd Feb
  2. For advocates, campaigning groups and voluntary groups – 9th Feb, 10am
  3. For staff working in public bodies & services/a body delivering public services – 10th Feb, 10am


News from Elsewhere...

  1. Threats to Human Rights Act are a mistake and risk ‘making things worse’, former Supreme Court president warns

    "Government threats to curtail the Human Rights Act are a mistake and risk “making things worse”, a former Supreme Court president is warning."

    The Independent, 3 February 2021

  2. Covid-19 vaccine in 80-year-old care home resident’s best interests despite son’s objections, rules court

    "It is in the best interests of an 80-year-old care home resident with dementia and schizophrenia to be vaccinated against Covid-19 despite her son’s objections, the Vice-President of the Court of Protection has ruled."

    Community Care, 29 January 2021

  3. People with learning disabilities dying at a greater rate from coronavirus

    "People with a learning disability must be urgently prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine, charities have warned as new data shows they are almost twice as likely to die from the virus than the general population."

    The Independent, 3 February 2021

  4. MPs draft law to restart care home visits and set two-week deadline for government to act

    "A committee of MPs and peers has drafted its own law to allow care home visits to restart – and set the government a two-week deadline to agree to act."

    The Independent, 3 February 2021

  5. Care homes still breaking Covid rules despite fatal outbreaks, inspectors say

    "Care homes in England operated by profitable chains have been branded unsafe by inspectors, who found serious failures in efforts to control the spread of coronavirus in its latest wave."

    The Guardian, 4 February 2021

Thanks for reading!

There has been a lot of sad human rights news this week, and we know it can be overwhelming. Why not take a moment to read our blog, Value of Human Rights in Health and Social Care: from Covid-19 and beyond, to remind yourself and reflect on the value that human rights have in helping us achieve dignified and independent lives.