British Bill of Rights threatens 'nightmare'
PLANS to create a British Bill of Rights will be "a legal and political nightmare" because of the complexities of devolution, a legal reform group has warned.
The Justice organisation said proposals being considered by the Conservatives to repeal or amend the implementation of the Human Rights Act in the UK could not be done without the consent of the devolved parliaments, offering a "problematic" and "difficult" path for potential reforms.
The adoption of a formal Bill of Rights for the UK is a long-standing Tory pledge and was backed by a cross-party committee of MPs in 2008. Labour agrees on the need for a formal Bill, but disagrees with the Conservative emphasis.
In any case a new report on the implementation of the Human Rights Act in the UK indicates that any new constitution would be difficult to achieve.
Roger Smith, director of Justice, said the plans were "likely to prove a legal and political nightmare". He added: "Any attempt to introduce a UK-wide Bill of Rights would need to be a joint enterprise of all four parts of the UK."
A Tory spokesman said: "Just because change is difficult is no reason not to do it, if it is the right thing to do."
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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