Statement: Response to UK Government decision not to proceed with “Bill of Rights”

The Commission welcomes reports that the UK government has decided to pause progress on replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 with a “Bill of Rights”.


Ian Duddy, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said:


"This Bill would have undermined Scotland’s devolution settlement, the independence of Scottish and UK courts, and the human rights protections available to us all.


"We hope the UK government will continue to respect its international commitments, like the European Convention on Human Rights, which has served us well for over 60 years.


"Any future reform must include early engagement and full consultation with the devolved administrations, legal experts and civil society, which was sadly lacking on the Bill of Rights. The UK must also uphold its international commitments and, at a minimum, maintain the current levels of protection offered to all individuals.


"Any attempts to reduce the legitimate checks and balances on power should be firmly resisted."


Read more about the Commission's work to defend the Human Rights Act on our dedicated Human Rights Act website page.