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UK Bill of Rights: a Second Consultation

One of the principal effects of the Human Rights Act 1998 was that it ‘incorporated’ the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights which the UK had ratified. This meant that individuals in the UK could, for the first time, bring claims in domestic courts for alleged breaches of their Convention rights. Prior to the Act coming into force, individuals could only seek remedies in the European Court of Human Rights for breaches of their Convention rights.

If a UK Bill of Rights were to be adopted, some have argued that the UK should return to the position prior to the Human Rights Act whereby individuals would have to petition the Strasbourg Court in order to seek a remedy for a breach of their Convention rights. Others argue that, since the UK would remain bound by its treaty obligations under the Convention, it would be regressive to remove the right of individuals in the UK to seek redress for alleged breaches of their Convention rights directly in UK courts.