The Queen's Speech: Human rights guaranteed

Queen's Speech
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Indy Politics
Human rights guaranteed

Citizens will be able to secure the guarantees in the European Convention on Human Rights before United Kingdom courts under the promised Bill to incorporate the convention into British law. A Home Office team has already been put in place to begin drafting the Bill, which will also create a fast-track route to the higher courts for speedy decisions on difficult or controversial issues.

The measure will mean that for the first time since the convention was signed by Council of Europe nations in November 1950, British subjects will be able to enforce their rights in UK courts in the majority of cases instead of going to the European Court of Human Rights.

Crucial questions, however, remain. The key issue is whether British judges would be empowered to strike down a provision in existing law for being in violation of convention rights, as in Canada, or whether the rectification of the breach would have to await an Act of Parliament. Patricia Wynn Davies