Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act (the Act), together with the Scotland Act, protect the rights that are contained in the European Convention on Human Rights in Scotland’s own laws.

The Act means that people can raise human rights issues in Scottish courts. It also places a duty on public bodies to comply with human rights in everything they do.

In the 2016 Queen’s Speech, the UK Government repeated its previous pledge to replace the Human Rights Act with a new British Bill of Rights. The Commission is opposed to this.

The Commission has previously set out a progressive test for any proposals to change human rights laws that makes clear any changes must protect rights for all, improve people’s lives, ensure accountability, build a better human rights culture and show international leadership. In our view, the UK Government’s currently mooted proposals do not pass this test.

For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions briefing.