News from BIHR

The Inquiry into the Human Rights Act Review: we responded!

 On 13th January 2021, the Government’s Independent Review of the Human Rights Act (HRA) opened a call for evidence, looking at how the HRA is working in practice and whether any change is needed. The Joint Committee on Human Rights opened an Inquiry into the Review. The Committee opened their own call for evidence, which closed last week and we responded!

The Human Rights Act in everyday ways has led to individuals being more able to enforce their human rights in the UK. Our submission makes clear that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure human rights are made real for everyone, but that this will not be achieved through more legislative review.

Find out more and read our response to the Inquiry into Human Rights Act Review here!


New easy read BIHR resources published!

We’ve been working hard to write lots of new easy read resources for people to learn more about their human rights. Find out more about them here or click the picture below!


BIHR Responds… to the CQC Report on DNAR Decisions

Last week, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published their report into do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR) decisions during Covid-19.

We welcome the CQC’s report. It is terrible that this report is needed, but recognising and naming DNAR decision-making as a human rights issue is important. Involvement and non-discrimination in DNAR decision-making is not simply a matter of good practice, it is the law. Find out more about DNAR decisions and human rights law here.

The findings echo the findings of own research into DNAR decisions and human rights during Covid-19. Find out more and read our full response to the CQC’s report here.


The Mental Health Act Reform and Human Rights

The Mental Health Act 1983 is a piece of legislation in England and Wales setting out when people can be detained and hospitalised for mental health treatment. The government published a White Paper in January 2021 on plans to change and update the Mental Health Act, and there is now an open consultation process on the proposed changes. You can read more about the proposed reforms in our plain language Explainer here.

The consultation closes on the 21 April 2021. We are holding two sessions with partners NSUN (the National Survivor User Network) to give people an opportunity to share their views and experiences of working with the Act or accessing mental health services, and to and learn more about the Mental Health Act White Paper consultation process. Follow the links below or click on the pictures to book onto the relevant session:

  1. For mental health professionals and advocates/campaigners (tomorrow, 26 March)
  2. For people accessing, trying to access or who have accessed mental health services (and their loved ones) (1 April)


News from Elsewhere...

  1. Government accused of ‘overseeing human rights crisis in care’

    “As the UK prepares to mark the anniversary today of the first COVID-19 national lockdown, the government has been accused of overseeing a human rights crisis in care.”

    Care Home Professional, 23 March 2021

  2. England’s care home operators warn against compulsory Covid jabs

    “Care home operators have warned that mandatory Covid vaccinations for staff could worsen workforce shortages and threaten standards of care.”

    The Guardian, 23 March 2021

  3. NHS update to learning disability mortality review

    “Autistic people will now be specifically included in an improved and expanded LeDeR programme to drive improvements in care, the NHS announced today.”

    NHS News, 23 March 2021

  4. Scottish government loses court challenge over ‘draconian’ limits on worship

    “The Scottish government has lost a high-profile court challenge against its Covid-19 regulations closing all churches for congregational worship and private prayer.”

    Scottish Legal News, 24 March 2021

    You can read the judgment summary here.

  5. Put protesting on the same footing as communal worship," says committee

    “The Joint Committee on Human Rights has urged the Government to put the right to protest in England during the lockdown on the same footing as the right to picket and the right to take part in communal worship.”

    Joint Committee on Human Rights, 19 March 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.