This week’s human rights news includes our final Rights in Recovery Leadership workshop and details of the European Court of Human Rights ruling on the Rwanda flight.

News from BIHR

We held our final Rights in Recovery Leadership workshops in Glasgow!

We partnered with Scottish Recovery Consortium to co-design and run a Rights in Recovery Leadership programme with people with direct experience of working with people in recovery from substance abuse. The Programme covered human rights frameworks in Scotland, and how they apply to people in all stages of recovery.

On Friday 17th June 2022, we hosted our final workshop in person in Glasgow. Participants told us how valuable the Programme has been to them, with one saying: “this course has met all the goals we wanted and exceeded them. When I came into this role, I didn’t have a clue about human rights. Over the last year I taught myself some things but over these 10 sessions, I’ve learnt more than in the past year. I was delivering this workshop this week and I know I had an inner confidence about the topic. I want to be sure that I am providing people with the right information. I feel like I have a really solid foundation and that I’ve really arrived in my role as the Rights in Recovery Officer at SRC. The programme has been transformative.”

Read more about the programme here.

We shared our new briefing on the Human Rights Act reform consultation process

Our new briefing, “Human Rights Act reform: nothing about us, without us” is now available on our website. It outlines our concerns with the UK Government’s Human Rights Act (HRA) reform process to date. We look at how the HRA is for everyone; how this has generally not been reflected in the reform process, which has been inaccessible and opaque; and how the UK Government keeps ignoring the evidence.

Read the briefing here.

We joined staff and advocates at Hopscotch Women’s Centre to launch our new resource!

As part of our "co-design a human rights solution" programme, we worked with staff at Hopscotch Women’s Centre to help staff and people accessing services be more confident in using human rights.

Hopscotch works with hard-to-reach communities, women with multiple barriers, women with multiple and complex needs, providing a wrap-around service, providing a trauma-informed service. Hopscotch is based in Camden in London. Hopscotch Women’s Centre provide services for BAME women who are experiencing inequality and abuse. They also provide care at home through their homecare service. 

Staff told us, “This was an amazing and informative session, and we are so pleased with the new guide!”

Read more about our partnership with Hopscotch here.

News From Elsewhere

Please be aware that the external human rights news BIHR shares weekly contains difficult and potentially triggering issues. This week triggers include cases concerning the asylum system and death of a child.

The European Court of Human Rights stopped people seeking asylum from being flown to Rwanda

On Tuesday 14th June 2022, the European Court of Human Rights granted “interim measures” in the case of a man seeking asylum who was due to be sent to Rwanda the same day. “Interim measures” are where the Court tells a government to take certain steps while an issue is looked into. The Court will only grant these measures where “there is a real risk of serious and irreversible harm.”

The Court told the UK Government not to send the man to Rwanda until after a UK court hearing in July, which will decide whether or not the Government’s Rwanda policy is lawful. The judge made this decision in light of the risk of the claimants’ human rights being breached, particularly because Rwanda isn't signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights so doesn’t legally have to protect these rights.

Read our full explainer of the Rwanda policy and the case law here.

Read a blog from our CEO on Rwanda removals, accountability and hope here.

The High Court ruled that life support treatment for a boy with brain damage should be stopped

In April 2022, 12-year-old Archie Battersbee’s mum found him unconscious at home. He was taken to hospital and has remained in a coma ever since. The hospital treating Archie said they believe Archie is brain-stem dead and asked the Court to say that it was lawful for them to stop the treatment that was keeping his heart beating. They wanted to perform a “brain stem test” to confirm whether Archie was alive, but were not able to, and so had to rely on an MRI. The hospital said this test showed Archie was dead.

His parents argued that to protect Archie’s Article 2 right to life, the judge could not allow them to withdraw life support unless it was “beyond all reasonable doubt” that Archie was dead (i.e. by doing a brain stem test). However, the judge found that the test was “on the balance of probabilities” and so found that it would be lawful for the hospital to stop treatment.

The judge also considered that it would not be in Archie’s best interests to continue with the treatment.

Archie’s parents have said they plan to appeal.

Source: Sky News

The Joint Committee on Human Rights published its report on the Public Order Bill

On Friday 17th June 2022, the Joint Committee on Human Rights published its report, “Public Order Bill: Does this legislation impact people’s right to protest?”

The report said, “this latest raft of measures is likely to have a chilling effect on the right to protest in England and Wales [protected under Article 10 of our Human Rights Act]. They threaten the overall balance struck between respect for the right to protest and protecting other parts of the public from disruption. The Bill also risks damaging the UK’s reputation and encouraging other nations who wish to crack down on peaceful protest.

The UK Government has two months to respond to the report.