The UK Does Not Need a New Bill of Rights but Should Join Protocol 12 ECHR

London 11 November 2011

The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) has responded today to the Commission on a Bill of Rights Discussion Paper entitled Do we need a UK Bill of Rights? The Commission was established to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights and this Discussion Paper marked the beginning of the process of public consultation on this issue. 

In its response, ERT endorsed the view that the UK does not need a new Bill of Rights. The Human Rights Act 1998 is a Bill of Rights. Moreover, ERT believes that both the rights specified and the mechanisms provided to make these rights effective through establishing judicial oversight and requiring public bodies to act in conformity with the rights are an essential, non-negotiable minimum standard for the protection of human rights in the UK. As such, ERT opposes any proposal to repeal, regressively amend or weaken the Human Rights Act. 


Additionally, as an organisation concerned to ensure the highest standard of protection for the rights to non-discrimination and equality, ERT urged the government to consider signing and ratifying Protocol 12 of ECHR which provides an autonomous right to non-discrimination, and take steps, in due course, to give effect to Protocol 12 in the domestic legal order, using the power provided under section 1(4) of the HRA.  


To read ERT’s response to the Commission click here

For more information on the Commission on a Bill of Rights Public Consultation click here

To read Protocol 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights click here