Dominic Raab’s hopes of making reform of the Human Rights Act the legacy of his period as lord chancellor have been been dashed, according to news reports this afternoon. The Bill of Rights Bill has been shelved while the government reviews ’the most effective means to deliver objectives through our legislative agenda’, a source told the BBC’s political editor.
The source said the bill is unlikely to progress in its current form. That will be welcomed by the Law Society. Vice president Lubna Shuja said a rethink of the 'deeply flawed' bill 'would be a step in the right direction, and I hope means the government has listened to the near unanimous opposition of lawyers, community groups and human rights advocates'.
'The only smart way to proceed would be to go back to the advice of the independent review it commissioned,' she said. 'Any changes should maintain vital human rights protections, which are a hallmark of British justice.'
As published, the bill would repeal the 1998 Human Rights Act and introduce a new permission stage for human rights challenges. Its announcement in June attracted widespread controversy. Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce described the bill as ’a lurch backwards for British justice’.
Campaign group Amnesty International described the bill as ‘a giant leap backwards for the rights of ordinary people’.
Raab last month rejected criticisms of the proposed bill from seven United Nations human rights experts, saying they were based on a 'flawed understanding'.
The bill's second reading had been scheduled for next Monday. The leader of the commons, Penny Mordaunt MP, is expected to make a formal statement to parliament tomorrow.