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, 10am
  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



Now Live: Know You Human Rights Tool for Women Survivors of Domestic Abuse

Over the past year we have been working with women survivors of domestic abuse, and the staff that support them, to create an online tool which will support women to know their human rights and the duties of public services to respect and protect these, not only to keep them safe (which is vital) but to also help rebuild their lives.

Yesterday, we launched our tool! Find out all about it here.

News from Elsewhere...

  1. Video assessments by AMHPs unlawful, High Court rules

    "It is unlawful for approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) to use video assessments for applications to detain people under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), the High Court  has ruled"

    Community Care, 27 January 2021

  2. Met police officer faces new hearing over death of mentally ill black man

    "A senior police officer cleared of misconduct over the high-profile death of a mentally ill black man is to face fresh disciplinary proceedings because of failings in the original case, the Observer can reveal."

    The Guardian, 24 January 2021

  3. Leon Briggs inquest: Luton man who died said 'help me' amid police restraint

    "A man shouted "help me" and "get off me" as he was restrained face-down by police officers hours before he died, an inquest heard."

    BBC News, 27 January 2021

  4. Covid-19 vaccine policy for people with learning disabilities ‘unfair’

    "Nurses are among campaigners who are calling for the government to rethink its decision not to prioritise all people with a learning disability for Covid-19 vaccination."

    Nursing Times, 26 January 2021


  5. Rape victims speak out ahead of legal challenge to CPS policy

    "Rape victims at the heart of a landmark court case have told the Guardian they have been failed by the Crown Prosecution Service, ahead of a legal challenge to how the crime is charged and prosecuted."

    The Guardian, 26 January 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.