The Rights Removal Bill has been shelved

Date: 15th September 2022
Category: Incorporation, General measures of implementation

Children's drawing shows adults sitting in a board room, wearing top hats.

The UK Government’s attempt to replace the Human Rights Act with a new Bill of Rights (or more appropriately ‘Rights Removal Bill’), has failed as the new Prime Minister Liz Truss has shelved the Bill temporarily.

This is a major victory for all the civil society organisations including Together who campaigned tirelessly against the Rights Removal Bill.

The Bill had been expected to proceed to its second reading on 12th September. In the lead up to this, Together had given its support to the following briefings:

  • A joint statement signed by 154 organisations denouncing the significant danger that the Bill posed for human rights protection;
  • A civil society briefing for second reading signed by 123 organisations and coordinated by Liberty.
  • A joint briefing for second reading coordinated by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England that highlighted the particular dangers for children’s rights.

Although the Bill has been temporarily ‘shelved’, this does not mean the Human Rights Act is safe. Revision of the Human Rights Act remains on the Conservative party’s agenda and the reasoning behind the PM’s decision to shelve the Bill may be due to other political priorities.

It is expected that the Bill will be redrafted. However, no matter the form it may return in, its intent will remain the same and civil society organisations will need to continue to work together to remain steadfast in opposition of the removal of the protections currently in place under the Human Rights Act.

Our colleagues at the British Institute for Human Rights (BIHR) have produced two very helpful guides about the announcement and what could happen next.