A Bill of Rights for the UK?: Government Response to the Committee's Twenty-ninth Report of Session 2007-08; Third Report of Session 2008-09; Report, Together with Formal Minutes and Written Evidence

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The Stationery Office, 2009 - Human rights - 46 pages
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This report presents the Government's response to the Committee's 29th report (HL 165-I/HC 150-I, session 2007-08, ISBN 9780104013472). The Committee welcomes various aspects of the Government response but also has some substantive comments. It also notes that publication of the Government's Green Paper has been repeatedly delayed and recommends that it be published as soon as possible. The Government's reiteration of its commitment not to detract or resile from the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); and its acknowledgement that there would be scope for including in a new constitutional document a range of rights and responsibilities which go beyond those in the ECHR, are welcomed. The Committee is concerned to detect some equivocation in the Government's view about the Human Rights Act, particularly following the interview given by the Secretary of State for Justice in the Daily Mail on 10 December 2008. It also remains unclear about the relationship between rights and responsibilities envisaged by the Government in a Bill of Rights. Finally, the Committee recommends that the Government should follow Australia's example and appoint an independent committee to conduct a national consultation on the whole range of options for a Bill of Rights for the UK, ahead of parliamentary consideration of the bill itself.

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