HUMAN RIGHTS INFO News Response to the Queen's Speech Stephen Bowen, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, commenting on the Queen’s Speech and Government plans for the Human Rights Act said: “In the short few weeks since the General Election we have seen huge public support for our Human Rights Act and the universal human rights that protect us all.” “In today’s Queen’s speech the Government confirmed that it will bring forward proposals for a “British Bill of Rights”. We suspect that these proposals are intended to replace universal human rights agreed the world over with a lesser, “DIY version”. "Essentially the Government is telling all of us what human rights we can have to protect us from them.” “Whether or not such plans are forthcoming in the next 100 days, the British Institute of Human Rights will continue to urge those in government to think again and protect what protects us all – our Human Rights Act." “We will continue to give voice to the many people we work with at BIHR. Our Human Rights Act is our bill of rights; the law that helps people hold public officials to account. This could be helping victims of sexual violence get justice for failures in police investigations, protecting older people, or stopping drastic cuts to care packages for disabled people.”COMMENT Notes: For a BIHR spokesperson please contact Woody on 0207 882 5750 The Queen’s Speech today stated “My Government will bring forward proposals for a British Bill of Rights”. The Queen’s Speech Briefing Pack (page 75) available on the Ministry of Justice website here further states the following: “The Government will bring forward proposals for a Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. This would reform and modernise our human rights legal framework and restore common sense to the application of human rights laws, which has been undermined by the damaging effects of Labour’s Human Rights Act. It would also protect existing rights, which are an essential part of a modern, democratic society, and better protect against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws.” For further detail please see BIHR’s blog Human Rights After the General Election, here.