With the consultation period just ended on the NIOs response to the draft NI Bill of Rights, the NI and Scottish Human Rights Commissions jointly challenge the big UK parties especially the Conservatives, over their plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights.
Monica McWilliams says:
Nowhere in the world has the repeal of existing human rights protections been a starting point for discussing a proposed Bill of Rights. It must not be the starting point for a debate in the United Kingdom. The Northern Ireland and Scottish Commissions are agreed that progressively building upon the foundation provided by the Human Rights Act is the only acceptable basis upon which to have a debate.
This reads like a frontal challenge to the man who would eventually bring forward the Conservatives Bill, Dominic Grieve who hasn’t spelled out how he’d replace the HRA. Meanwhile both the DUP and Daphne Trimble reject the NI Commissions Bill on familiar grounds. But Lady Trimble, now Conservative and Unionist challenger in Lagan Valley cant resist making a party point.
The DUP will never be in a position to replace Labours Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights because the DUP will never form or be part of the UK Government.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London