You're viewing our new website - find out more


Human rights speech

Published: 23 Sep 2015 00:01

Scrapping Human Rights Act "will diminish the UK’s reputation"

The UK Government's proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act will "diminish the UK's reputation", First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will say today (September 23).

Speaking alongside human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, the First Minister will also say that "repealing the Human Rights Act is wholly unnecessary and addresses no obvious problem".

The First Minister will set out the Scottish Government's approach to human rights, including how the Scottish Government will respond to any UK Government proposals.

Addressing an audience of civic organisations at the Pearce Institute in Govan, the First Minister will say:

"One of the things I want to show today is that the cause of human rights is also the cause of social justice. Human rights are founded on the recognition that all human beings have equal worth, and that all are entitled to the same fundamental protections and freedoms.

"The Conservative manifesto at the last election included this promise: "We will scrap Labour's Human Rights Act and introduce a British Bill of Rights"

"At the moment, none of us know how this Bill of Rights could work. In fact, the UK Government doesn't seem to have any idea. That's because their pledge has created a completely unnecessary dilemma.

"Nobody believes that the UK Government will strengthen existing human rights protections. But the UK Government must also know that any legislation which weakens human rights protections, will diminish the UK's reputation overseas, damage relations with devolved governments, and impact on the welfare of people within the UK.

"Repealing the human rights act meets no pressing need, and addresses no obvious problem. There is instead a clear risk that it will create legal confusion; harm people in the UK who need support and protection; and give comfort to illiberal governments around the world. No responsible government should even be considering such a step."

Notes to editors

Further information on Liberty and Shami Chakrabarti can be found here: