René Cassin Praises the Human Rights Act in Submission to Parliamentary Inquiry

6 Nov, 2018 | Latest, Protecting Human Rights in the UK

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In evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, René Cassin highlights the importance of the Human Rights Act (HRA) in improving people’s lives in the UK, by letting people raise legal claims in the UK. Furthermore, the section 6(1) provision in the HRA, which makes it unlawful for public bodies to act in a way which is incompatible with Convention rights, has had a meaningful impact and facilitated positive changes to service delivery, practises and policy.

You can read the full submission here.

The Human Rights Act, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this November, ensures that all UK public bodies (such as courts, police, local governments, hospitals, publicly funded schools) and other bodies carrying out public functions comply with the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The rights protected by the HRA include the right to liberty, freedom from slavery and forced labour, and many other rights that we take for granted. Importantly, these rights apply to everyone, irrespective of their race, gender, religion or other protected status.

The rights guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights and, more recently, the HRA speak directly to the Jewish experience. At their root is the notion that all humans are vested with a dignity that governments have a duty to protect.

René Cassin was also proud to stand alongside 40 other organisations who signed a submission coordinated by the British Institute for Human Rights, which highlighted how the HRA has secured positive changes for a wide range of people in a wide range of situations – including health and social care, education and housing – without recourse to the court:

“The HRA section 6 duty on public officials to protect and uphold human rights has transformed how policies are developed and how public services are delivered, ensuring that people’s rights are respected. Importantly, this duty has also secured positive changes for people without recourse to the court.  There is evidence that where human rights approaches are embedded in public service delivery and policy, it positively impacts people’s lives”



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