UK Lord Chancellor says government will keep Human Rights Act

[JURIST] UK Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer [official profile] issued a review [materials] of the implementation of the Human Rights Act [text] Tuesday indicating that the government will not support legislation to amend or appeal the Act but wants instead to dispel "myths" surrounding it so that public officials governed by the Act do not overbalance the rights of criminals against the rights of victims.

In the wake of several contentious High Court judgments earlier this year, Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] called for a review [JURIST report] of "whether primary legislation is needed to address the issue of Court rulings which over-rule the Government in a way that is inconsistent with other EU countries interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights" and Falconer himself suggested that the Human Rights Act be amended [JURIST report] to include a public safety exception. Opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron has also called for the Act to be repealed or revised [JURIST report]. The review [executive summary, PDF] published Tuesday found, however, that the Act has had no significant impact on criminal law, and that while the Act has had an impact on UK terrorism responses, that issue primarily arises not from the Act itself, but from how the European Court of Human Rights [official website] has interpreted provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) [PDF text] on which the UK Act is based. The Independent has more.



 

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