Posted by Brian on 10th August 2008 at 06:17 PM
Committee backs UK Bill of Rights
MPs and peers have called for the government to adopt a UK Bill of Rights.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights said a new bill should go further than existing human rights legislation.
It should contain a specific guarantee of the right to asylum, and the right to a "healthy and sustainable environment", the MPs and peers said on Sunday.
The government said last year it would explore the possibility of a new bill of rights, while the Conservatives have said they will replace the Human Rights Act with a similar bill.
The committee's report said the bill, which it proposed calling the "UK Bill of Rights", should include all rights spelled out in the Human Rights Act plus new measures.
"We recommend for inclusion, amongst others, the right to trial by jury, the right to administrative justice and international human rights as yet not incorporated into UK law," it said.
"We believe that there is a strong case for... detailed rights for children, and we recommend that the public should be consulted about including specific rights for other vulnerable groups."
It went on: "Rights such as the right to adequate healthcare, to education and to protection against the worst extremes of poverty touch the substance of people's everyday lives, and would help to correct the popular misconception that human rights are a charter for criminals and terrorists.
"A great deal of our work in this parliament has concerned the vulnerable and the marginalised: older people in healthcare, asylum seekers, adults with learning disabilities, and children in secure training centres for example.
"We have often pointed out serious shortcomings in the protection of the human rights of these vulnerable and marginalised people.
"Whilst not diminishing the obligation on Parliament to legislate effectively and in compliance with human rights principles, strengthening the legal protection for the rights of such people should in our view be one of the principal purposes of any new bill of rights."
The committee rejected the idea that any rights included in the new document could be dependent on individuals living up to their responsibilities.
It also rejected calling any new law a "British Bill of Rights", because the word "British" would exclude Northern Ireland.
Due to problems with spam only SalfordOnline members can now leave comments. Becoming a member of SalfordOnline only takes a minute, just hit the red Join Us button at the top right hand side of the page to create your Personal account.
Got a news story? Need help with publicity for an event in Salford? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SalfordOnline newsdesk on 0161 789 5377.