Dominic Raab has responded to criticism that replacing the human rights law is “racist” and leads to a new clash over Brexit, as he popularizes the controversial legislation.
A new rights law is under fire for ripping through vital protections while putting the UK on a collision course with Brussels – by neutralizing the influence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
But the deputy prime minister said independent His critics ignored “common sense” and exaggerated the risks of a clash with the Strasbourg court.
Activists have warned that grievances such as the Hillsborough disaster and the failure to investigate John Warboys, the “black cab rapist”, would never have come to light if the change had already been in place.
They said previous plans for “behavior of plaintiffs” to be taken into account when bringing cases of rights abuses would disproportionately hit ethnic minorities.
But Rapp denied those concerns, insisting there would be no impact on anyone just because they were put into a police database, or stopped and searched.
“The common law already reflects the principle that a plaintiff seeking compensation must come with a clean hand, so why not do that with human rights claims? For most people, that is just common sense,” Mr. Raab said.
He also dismissed the warning of a professor of EU law at the University of Cambridge that ignoring rulings of the European Court of Human Rights ran the risk of EU retaliation for breaching the Withdrawal Agreement.
“Our record of compliance with the Strasbourg provisions compared to other major EU countries is very strong, so it’s not a very well-balanced criticism, if I may put that lightly,” Raab said.
The Deputy Prime Minister – and Minister of Justice – are also heavily criticized for failing to allow proper parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill of Rights, against the recommendation of the House of Commons committees.
About 150 organizations, led by the campaign group Liberty, fear dramatic changes without “strong consideration” for the changes.
Publishing the bill, Mr Raab will confirm the UK will remain in the European Convention on Human Rights – after No. 10 hinted it might withdraw, amid the deportation controversy in Rwanda.
But the change would prevent a repeat of the European Court of Human Rights using a temporary injunction to block flights, by making it clear that “Rule 39” moves are not binding on UK courts.
It will facilitate the deportation of foreign criminals and foreign asylum seekers, by stripping the defense of the right to family life in the UK for anyone convicted of the offense of ‘imprisonment’.
The crackdown will also prevent attempts to enforce human rights even before they reach the courtroom, by requiring early proof of suffering a “significant defect”.
It would make the UK’s Supreme Court the “final judicial decision maker” on human rights issues, eliminating the need to follow the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr. Raab will also argue that it promotes media freedom by offering a stronger test for courts to consider before ordering journalists to reveal their sources.