No case for amending the Human Rights Act: Commission welcomes Joint Committee on Human Rights report

The Scottish Human Rights Commission welcomes a new report from Westminster’s Joint Committee on Human Rights, which concludes there is no case for amending the Human Rights Act.

The Committee examined the terms of reference for the UK Government’s Independent Review of the Human Rights Act, set up in January 2021 and due to report later this year. The Committee also received written and oral evidence from a range of people and organisations with experience of using and applying the Human Rights Act, including the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

In its report, the Committee draws attention to the positive impact of the Human Rights Act in protecting people’s rights in the UK, and in contributing to the development of a stronger human rights culture.

The Committee also highlights the importance of the Human Rights Act to the devolution settlement in Scotland, drawing on evidence from the Commission and others, and concludes that no further reform of the Human Rights Act should be pursued without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

Welcoming the Committee’s report, Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said:

“The Human Rights Act is an important law that helps people to enforce their rights. Legal action under the Act has led to multiple positive changes including protecting gay couples from discrimination, requiring hospitals to protect patients at risk of suicide, and requiring the police to investigate rape claims effectively.

“In Scotland, there is strong evidence that people generally support doing more to strengthen human rights laws, making it easier for people to get access to justice when things go wrong, and making rights more visible in everyday life. We are pleased that the Joint Committee on Human Rights has concluded that the Human Rights Act does a good job as it stands, and that there is no case to amend it in the ways indicated by the UK Government’s latest Review.”


More information: 

  1. The Commission’s written evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
  2. Transcript of oral evidence to the Committee from Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission
  3. The Commission’s wider work to defend the Human Rights Act