News from BIHR

We launched our Question-by-Question Guide to Human Rights Act Reform Consultation!

The Government has given everyone until 8th March 2022 to respond to its Consultation on proposed changes to human rights in the UK. However, the Consultation is very long and uses complex language and they have not yet published an Easy Read version.

To help everyone have their say, we’ve created a Question-by-Question Guide to responding to the Consultation.

We've broken down each question into the question as it appears in the Consultation; a plain(er) language translation; what we think the Government means; how the Human Rights Act currently works; what the Independent Human Rights Act said about each issue; and what BIHR will be saying in our response. For Question 29, we've identified the three parts of the question with suggestions for how you can approach your answer.

Remember, you don’t have to answer every question in the Consultation. If you only answer one, make it Question 29! This is your chance to tell the Government why the Human Rights Act works well and what the impact would be if it was replaced.

Click here to get our guide.

We hosted our Easy Read Workshop on Human Rights Act reform

On Tuesday 8th February 2022, we hosted an Easy Read workshop on the Government’s planned changes to human rights law. Our human rights officer, Annie, explained what’s happening and how everyone can get involved.

Our participants told us they’re very worried about the changes and the way the Consultation has been done, with one saying that they make people with learning disabilities feel invisible.

Click here to get more information about the Human Rights Act reform.


We’ve been busy working on more resources to help you have your voice heard on Human Rights Act reform

We’ll be releasing template letters very soon for anyone who wants to respond to the Consultation by email instead of answering the set questions.

We’ll also be creating a survey to gather your views so we can include them in our own response to the Consultation.

Click here to join our Campaigns List and get updated when new events and resources are ready.


News from elsewhere

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner stepped down following findings of “misogyny, discrimination and sexual harassment” in the force

On Thursday 10th February 2022, Dame Cressida Dick released a statement confirming she has resigned as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. This comes after the Independent Office for Police Conduct published a report on 1st February 2022 finding evidence of “discrimination, misogyny, harassment and bullying”. These issues were especially highlighted during the Black Lives Matter protests, and the investigation into the murder of Sarah Everard by a Metropolitan police officer.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, will appoint a new Commissioner.

Source: BBC

The House of Lords debated the Nationality and Borders Bill

On Thursday 10th February 2022, the House of Lords completed its scrutiny of the Nationality and Borders Bill in the committee stage. The Bill will now go to the report stage, which is due to start on 28th February 2022. At the report stage, the House will vote on suggested changes.

JCWI have written a blog explaining what is happening with the Nationality & Borders Bill and how you can get involved.

Source: Parliament UK

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal over pollution and the right to life

Five-year-old Matthew Richards brought a case against the Environment Agency because pollution from a landfill waste site near his house is damaging his health and restricting his Article 2 right to life.

The High Court originally found in Matthew’s favour and told the Environment Agency to reduce chemical levels at the site, but this decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal because they said it would have “far-reaching effects” beyond just Matthew’s case.

Matthew asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal but this was refused. His lawyers now say they will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Source: HMB Solicitors 

LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall has called for the Equality & Human Rights Commission to lose its Human Rights status

Stonewall has written submissions to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions asking that the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) rating be downgraded so it cannot make submissions to the United Nations Human Rights Council or Committees.

The submissions come after the EHRC released a letter advising against Gender Recognition Act reform in Scotland.

Source: BBC