The Pros And Cons Of The Human Rights Act

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The Human Rights Act (HRA) is argued to be a fundamental instrument in the United Kingdom’s (UK) constitution. It allows the rights and freedoms of the individual to be protected from the state within Domestic Courts. The Act has been under h scrutiny for decades surrounding the conflicts that it poses on the UK’s unwritten constitution and the fundamental doctrines of Parliamentary sovereignty, Separation of Powers and the Rule of Law. Due to this, there have been proposals made by many political parties over the years to abolish the HRA and replace it with a British Bill of Rights (BBOR). However, the Act has become entrenched in the UK’s legal system even prior to the enactment of HRA in 2000, highlighting the issues that would be posed …show more content…
A Bill of Rights would create rigidness that would not evolve as society evolves. The American Bill of Rights, there have only ever been 14 amendments to the doctrine since its creation in 1789, meaning that it cannot adapt as society evolves and creates rigidness in their constitution. This fundamental principle would not work within the UK, as the constitution adapts to society’s needs. Therefore, a HRA would be protecting the rights of the individuals’ greater through the government being able to repeal or replace parts of the Act. An example would be the right to marry through the application of the Margin of Appreciation, the UK allowed same sex marriages in 2014, giving the right to marry to all individuals, no matter what their sexual …show more content…
The impact the Act has on the Constitution is that it gives individuals rights against the state. The HRA has been under scrutiny by political parties due to the issues it poses on Parliamentary Sovereignty and allowing the ECtHR to make decisions surrounding domestic legislation. However, this misconception of the HRA could be due to the lack of education surrounding the Act and its role within society. This has led to political parties calling for reform, and to enact of a more rigid BBOR. A BBOR would have many positive aspects to the bill to heighten the rights of the individual but the bill that has been submitted by the Conservative party would not fit and accommodate the Convention into its ideology to “bring the rights home.” Subsequently, the ideas and values that have been maintained by the incorporation of the HRA and protecting the rights of the individual would be jeopardised. Therefore, the BBOR is argued to cater more for the state and has lost its purpose to protect the individual. As a result, the need for reform is present through the loopholes that the HRA has created and arguable the role the judiciary now maintains. However, this reform should be to reform the existing HRA and not to entrench a new ‘catalogue of ideas’ into the constitution. The Commission states that the “Act represents a powerful framework” highlighting that

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