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Ministry of Justice announces plans to reform Human Rights Act

The move seeks to ‘strengthen quintessentially British traditions’, such as freedom of speech and the right to a jury trial, while ensuring the system is ‘not open to abuse’.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced that the Human Rights Act will be revised under plans unveiled by the justice secretary, Dominic Raab.

The proposed new legislation reportedly aims to strike a “proper balance” between individuals’ rights, personal responsibility and the wider public interest.

The MoJ said the proposed measures will “restore Parliament’s role as the ultimate decision-maker” on laws impacting the UK population, allowing more scope to decide how the UK interprets rulings from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 

Additionally, the government said it will “restore a common-sense approach in vital areas”, including the UK’s ability to deport foreign criminals.

This will reportedly be done by restricting the rights available to those subject to deportation orders, “strengthening” the existing legal framework, or limiting the grounds on which a deportation decision can be overturned.

Meanwhile, the plans will give the Supreme Court more ability to interpret human rights law in a UK context, the MoJ said. 

Dominic Raab, deputy prime minister and secretary of state for justice, said: “Our plans for a Bill of Rights will strengthen typically British rights like freedom of speech and trial by jury, while preventing abuses of the system and adding a healthy dose of common sense.

“It will mean that rights are interpreted in a UK context, with respect for the country’s case law, traditions, and the intention of its elected lawmakers.”

He added: “Proposals also include measures to introduce a permission stage which will intercept frivolous claims that sap the energy and resource of courts.

“Meanwhile, greater prominence will be given to the rights to jury trial and freedom of expression – meaning the space for rigorous debate will reflect the UK’s traditions and secure its values.”

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