Institutions, Justice

Spotlight on:
Why the Human Rights Act is crucial for the UK

Credit: EachOther
The uncertain future of our rights
In 2022, the future of our rights in the UK is once again uncertain. The government, with its huge parliamentary majority, has promised to 'overhaul' the Human Rights Act (HRA), which, for over 20 years, has protected the hard-won freedoms we all enjoy. The HRA acts as a safeguard against the abuse of power by the state. It shields us from discrimination. It enshrines in UK law the basic rights on which we all rely. With the Act now well and truly in the government's sights, EachOther shines a spotlight here on what's at stake...
Andy Hull, Chief Executive, EachOther
When?

The Human Rights Act was passed by the UK Parliament in 1998 and took effect in 2000. It incorporates into domestic law the European Convention on Human Rights, which, in turn, draws on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights composed after WWII and the Holocaust.

What has it done for us?

For more than two decades now, the Human Rights Act has protected the rights of each and every one of us in the UK. It has meant we can turn to a British court for justice if any public body - e.g. a government department, local council or police service - breaches our rights.

In danger...

The Human Rights Act is currently at serious risk, with the UK government threatening to 'overhaul' it imminently. Because of this clear and present danger, civil society is working harder than ever to raise awareness of how the Human Rights Act protects us all.

EachOther's latest news about the Human Rights Act

Human rights champions speak out

“Equality, freedom, dignity: our rights are the essence of our humanity and the fight to protect them is the work of hope and optimism.”

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“As a torture survivor, I know how dangerous it can be when governments go after people’s rights – which is why we need to defend the Human Rights Act”

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“Our Human Rights Act means we can all challenge those in power to treat us with dignity, not simply as special treatment, but as legal rights that should be met”

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“The Human Rights Act is a powerful tool for making life better for children by enabling them to claim and enforce rights contained in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

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Blogs on the HRA from the British Institute of Human Rights

Other resources on the Human Rights Act

Human Rights Act reform: resources from BIHR
Human Rights Act reform: resources from BIHR

Here you will find all of BIHR's work around the government's planned changes to the Human Rights Act and information about how you can get involved.

British Institute of Human Rights website
The Human Rights Act is for everyone
The Human Rights Act is for everyone

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms all people should be guaranteed.

Liberty's website - your rights
Human Rights Consortium
Human Rights Consortium

The Human Rights Consortium is a broad alliance of civil society organisations from across all communities, sectors and areas of Northern Ireland who work together to help develop a human rights based society.

Human Rights Consortium website
The Human Rights Consortium Scotland
The Human Rights Consortium Scotland

The Human Rights Consortium Scotland is the civil society network to protect and promote human rights in Scotland.

The Human Rights Consortium Scotland website

What you can do

Make your voice heard
Make your voice heard

You can respond formally to the government's consultation on reforming the Human Rights Act before 9 March 2022.

Respond to the government's consultation here
Human Rights Act reform: template response
Human Rights Act reform: template response

You don't have to answer the consultation questions to have your say on the government's planned changes to the Human Rights Act.

Find out how here
Stand up to power
Stand up to power

There is a democratic crisis in the UK. This Government is shutting down the ways ordinary people hold them accountable for their actions: weakening our Human Rights Act, criminalising protest, ignoring laws and rules it doesn't like, blocking people from voting and snubbing MPs when making laws.

Add your name to Liberty's pledge on HRA reform