The Human Rights Act: The DCA and Home Office Reviews; Thirty-second Report of Session 2005-06; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Minutes of Evidence and Appendices

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The Stationery Office, Nov 14, 2006 - Law - 95 pages
In May 2006, in the light of the public controversy arising from recent cases involving the Human Rights Act 1998, the Government announced its intention to conduct reviews by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and the Home Office into the impact of the Act on the criminal justice system and the Government's ability to protect the public against crime and terrorism. The Committee's report examines the human rights implications of these reviews and surrounding events, as well as reflecting in a broader sense on the work remaining to be done in order to embed a "human rights culture" in this country. The Committee's findings include that, although there is no evidence of a need to amend or repeal the Act, public misunderstanding and unease will continue so long as senior Ministers make unfounded assertions about the negative impact of the Act on the criminal justice system and seek to use it as a scapegoat for administrative failings in their departments. The Committee acknowledges that the DCA review makes a fair and balanced contribution to the debate and supports its proposal for more pro-active work to debunk public myths about the Act and to highlight its positive impact, for example for the rights of the disabled. The report concludes that establishing a culture of respect for human rights cannot be achieved through legal means alone but needs a shift in public perception.

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