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Human Rights Act: Review

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

I have today placed in the Printed Paper Office, the Vote Office and the Libraries of both Houses copies of the review of the implementation of the Human Rights Act. The review was commissioned by the Prime Minister. It considers the impact of the Human Rights Act on UK law, the impact on policy formulation by Government, the myths and misperceptions that have grown up around the Act and proposals for the way forward.

The Government remain fully committed both to the European Convention on Human Rights and to the way effect is given to it in the UK by the Human Rights Act. As shown in the review, the Human Rights Act has had a significant, but beneficial, effect on the development of policy by central government.

The Government will take forward a number of actions to address areas of concern highlighted by the review. The Government are conducting a thorough review of how police, probation, parole and prison services balance public protection and individual and collective rights and, if necessary, will legislate to ensure that public protection is given priority. Other initiatives include a major push for the provision of better and more consistent guidance and training on human rights within departments; and a proactive, strategic and co-ordinated approach to human rights litigation, so that it has the maximum possible impact on future case law under the Human Rights Act. The Government will also lead a drive to ensure that the public as well as the wider public sector are better informed about the benefits which the Human Rights Act has given everyone in the UK.