A British bill of rights will get rid of 'trivial’ human rights claims, former justice minister Lord Faulks told the Conservative Party Conference this morning.
Faulks, who was justice minister from January 2014 until July this year, told a fringe event that the bill, which would replace the Human Rights Act, would have ‘proper regard’ for Strasbourg, but not an 'over regard’.
He added: 'It will get rid of trivial claims... It will allow a degree of scepticism on the part of the courts, to make sure there are not far too many trivial human rights. It will concentrate on what are real human rights.’
Insisting that the Human Rights Act was not needed, Faulks said parliament and the UK’s courts were perfectly capable of protecting people’s rights.
‘However, we have it and the question is how we respond to the fact it’s been in existence since 1998,’ he said.
'There’s been an accumulation of case law, a whole school of lawyers has now been brought up in a rights culture, and the general population - at least some of them - think that the Human Rights Act is a vital tool in protecting people’s rights.
'This makes it politically difficult for us simply to throw away the Human Rights Act, to repeal it, to abandon our connection with the Council of Europe, and to go back as it were to pre-1997, much though I would like that to be the case.’
Calling for the need for balance and common sense to be restored to the way human rights are protected, Faulks said the feeling that human rights, once invoked, trump all other considerations 'is a heresy we have to get rid of’, recalling a series of ‘rather crude posters put all over London and other cities’.
Providing some insight into discussions about the new bill during his time at the ministry, Faulks said that one of the proposals considered 'was the question of parliament having a chance to review any decision made by the European Court of Human Rights which was against the UK’.