Westminster Weekly Update: Bill of Rights released

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1. Published Bill of Rights

The long tail bill of rights was published by the government on Wednesday 22 June.

The bill will repeal and replace the Human Rights Act 1998 and make a number of changes to the national human rights framework.

Among the key provisions of the bill is the creation of an authorization stage for human rights claims. This will prevent people from pursuing a claim unless they can prove that they would face a “serious disadvantage”.

Other provisions will prevent courts from imposing “positive obligations” on public authorities to protect human rights and will make it more difficult for foreign offenders to use human rights law to avoid expulsion.

We said the bill would ‘give the state greater unfettered power over the people’ and ‘create an acceptable category of human rights abuses in the UK’.

The bill follows an independent review that found there was no need to repeal the Human Rights Act and a government consultation that found limited support for many of the government’s proposals. law Project.

Read our response to the bill

Learn more about human rights reform

2. The Law Society celebrates Justice Week in Parliament

On Monday 20 June, the Law Society joined forces with the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) to celebrate Justice Week by hosting a reception in parliament.

The event provided an excellent opportunity to promote the contribution of legal services in the UK:

  • 60 billion pounds of gross value added to the economy
  • 552,000 people employed

It also served as a platform to raise common concerns regarding criminal legal aid and government proposals on human rights law reform.

The event brought together parliamentarians from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab, Justice Ministers Victoria Atkins and James Cartlidge, and Solicitor General Alex Chalk all came to meet with representatives from the legal industry. The reception was hosted by Lord Hunt of Wirral, APPG Co-Chairman on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Several speeches were delivered during the event. Lord Wirral and Chairman of the Justice Select Committee, Sir Bob Neill, spoke about the importance of supporting the justice system to ensure it remains sustainable. Sir Bob’s speech also underlined the importance of defending lawyers when they are attacked simply for doing their job.

Stephanie Boyce, our President, Mark Fenhalls, President of the Law Society, and Professor Chris Bones, President of CILEX, all addressed the participants to reiterate the value of the legal sector and the need for close collaboration with parliamentarians.

3. The Conservatives lose two by-elections

The Conservative Party suffered two major defeats in the by-elections that took place on Thursday, June 23. Labor won in Wakefield, a seat that has been described as part of the “red wall”. The Liberal Democrats took Tiverton and Honiton, a traditionally safe Tory seat in the South West of England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pointed to the cost of living crisis as the cause of defeats and noted that governments generally tend to lose by-elections. He pledged to do more to “reflect on where the voters are” and continue to address people’s concerns.

Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden resigned following the results. He said that “it would not be right for me to stay in office” after the two electoral defeats. Dowden said in his resignation letter that it was important that someone took responsibility for the outcome.

Coming

The Law Society will work closely with MPs and peers to influence a number of bills and inquiries: