Human Rights Act 1998

Attorney General – in the House of Commons on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the effect on Scotland of the Government’s plans to update the Human Rights Act 1998.

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Attorney-General

I speak regularly with my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor on many matters, including manifesto commitments. The Government committed to looking at the broader aspects of our constitution, including the balance between rights of individuals and effective government, and to updating the Human Rights Act. I can assure the hon. Member that any implications for the devolved Administrations will be closely monitored.

Photo of David Linden David Linden Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

I am grateful to the Attorney General. Last month, the Lord Chancellor referred to an independent review of the Human Rights Act 1998. Can the Attorney General clarify whether that is different from the constitution, democracy and rights commission? What role will devolved institutions have in any such review, given how important the HRA is to the devolved settlements?

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Attorney-General

The Government are ensuring that the impact of any reforms on devolved jurisdictions is well considered. Any consideration by the panel of UK-wide judicial review issues will take into account the distinctive nature and context of each of the UK’s jurisdictions. Where appropriate, the panel will put forward bespoke options to take into account those differences, rather than proposing a one-size-fits-all approach.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Attorney General)

I very much regret that the Attorney General does not seem to share my enthusiasm for the Human Rights Act. She knows as well as anyone that messing about with it endangers future justice and security co-operation, as well as trade, with the EU, so why do the Government not put our safety, security and prosperity first and ditch the Tory party’s Human Rights Act obsession?

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Attorney-General

I share, I hope, the hon. Gentleman’s commitment to law enforcement and criminal justice work throughout our nations, and I believe deeply in our co-operation on criminal justice matters with our neighbours. What I object to, however, is any submission to the European Court of Justice, and I am committed to our manifesto commitment to looking at the Human Rights Act and updating it.