This week's human rights news includes five new laws passed by Parliament, a Human Rights Act event and an in-person BIHR team meeting!

News from BIHR

We’re holding a free, online event for anyone who wants to learn more about human rights

We’re expecting the Government to announce its plans to change our Human Rights Act on Tuesday 10th May 2022. We want everyone to be informed and able to have their say on any proposals, so we’re holding an open access event on Thursday 12th May 2022.

The event will be on Zoom and will be free, open to everyone and will explain the law in plain English. We’ll talk about how the Act works now and what resources we’re putting together on Human Rights Act reform.

Click here to sign up to the event.

Picture of calendar and text reading: Human Rights Act Reform Events.

We continued our work with the Scottish Recovery Consortium

We’ve been working with the Scottish Recovery Consortium to develop and deliver a five-day Rights In Recovery Leadership Programme to advance awareness of rights-based recovery in Scotland. This week was our second week delivering the programme to people with lived experience working directly with people in recovery. Our Human Rights Officer, Natalie, and Assistant Human Rights Officer, Katie, discussed the relationship between the Equality Act and human rights in recovery

Click here to read more about our Rights in Recovery programme.

Our team got together in person for a full staff meeting!

On Monday 25th April 2022, we had our all-team meeting in London! Our team got together to talk about all the exciting work we’ve been doing with our partners and programmes as well as to plan out the next steps for our Human Rights Act Reform campaign work.

Click here to join our campaign list and stay up to date on our Human Rights Act Reform work.

Our e-news is out next week

This month’s e-news is all about the end of this year’s Parliamentary Session, including the new laws that were passed and what we expect to see in the agenda for the new Session. On Tuesday 10th May 2022, the Queen will read out a speech setting out the Government’s agenda for the next Parliamentary year. We’re expecting it to include worrying plans to introduce a new bill repealing the Human Rights Act. Our e-news will include our action plan, an open event you can attend and more information on how you can get involved with our campaign work.

Click here to sign up to our e-news mailing list.

News from elsewhere

The 2021-2022 Parliamentary Session ended with the passing of some concerning new laws

This year’s Parliamentary Session ended on 28th April 2022. This means This means that Parliament is now “prorogued” – meaning nearly all Parliamentary business stops until the new session starts on 10th May 2022. Any bills that were in progress but have not been passed into law or carried over will be abandoned and so will any outstanding questions or motions.

The Government passed a number of controversial bills into law before the Session ended, including the Elections Bill, the Policing Bill, the Health and Social Care Bill, the Courts Bill and the Borders Bill. We discuss these in more detail in this month’s e-news.

Source: Parliament UK

The Home Office abandoned its policy of “pushing back” boats crossing the Channel

In December 2021, Freedom From Torture began the judicial review process against the Home Office for its policy to “push back” boats carrying people attempting to cross the channel, which Freedom From Torture said was “unlawful and will likely lead to deaths in the Channel”. The legal challenges included that it would breach people’s Article 3 right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment and Article 4 right to be free from slavery and forced labour.

In April 2022, the Home Office announced the policy has been withdrawn.

Source: Leigh Day

A black British teenage boy was put in immigration detention after officials incorrectly recorded his nationality as Nigerian

In April 2022, a non-verbal teenage boy went missing from the hospital where he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He was arrested by the British Transport Police on suspicion of fare evasion but then detained by Immigration Enforcement despite being a British citizen who has never left the UK.

The detention centre prepared documents that listed him as Nigerian and said his removal from the UK was “imminent”. The boy’s mother was told that police officers believed he was Nigerian because of his accent, but his mother said that when the boy does rarely speak, his accent is a mixture of Mancunian and London.

Source: The Guardian

The High Court found the Government’s policy not to isolate people going into care homes after being discharged from hospital was unlawful

During March and April 2020, the Government did not advise care home staff to isolate asymptomatic Covid-19 patients who were being discharged from hospital and going into care homes. The High Court said this was “irrational” and that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care acted unlawfully because his decisions didn’t take into account the risk to elderly and vulnerable residents.

Source: The Guardian