Has the Time Come to Scrap the Human Rights Act?

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Has the time come to scrap the Human Rights Act?

The Human Rights Act is a UK law passed by the Labour government in 1998. It means that you can defend your rights in the UK courts and that public organisations, including the Government, the police and local councils, must treat everyone equally, with fairness, dignity and respect. It incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into British law and was set up so matters could be dealt with in British courts and people did not have the expense, and lengthy wait, of taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The Conservative party believe that a British Bill of Rights is a much better alternative to the HRA whereas the Liberals truly believe that instead of scrapping it, it should be enhanced and strengthened. Although there are many benefits of having a HRA, the flaws outweigh the argument to keep it and should therefore be scrapped.

One argument for the abolition of the HRA is that it makes it difficult to fight terrorism and maintain Law and Order. It is hard to do so as terrorist suspects are protected by one main aspect of the HRA, if there is the possibility of them being tortured when returned to their home country the ECHR can block their deportation. For example, in January 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May wished to have Abu Qatada (Osama bin Laden’s right hand man) deported back to Jordan in order to face a trial. However, the ECHR blocked the deportation of Abu Qatada because of fears that evidence obtained under torture would be used against him in his own country. They eventually appealed the decision and came to the agreement that he would be deported to Jordan but they could not use evidence obtained by torture. In 2014, the case against him collapsed due to the lack of evidence and he was released. This shows that without the restrictions from the HRA they…...

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