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Should We Repeal The Human
Human Rights are those rights that are deemed to belong to all individuals by virtue of their humanity. Previously, these rights were referred to as “the rights of man” or natural rights. As such, these human rights are therefore ascribed to all humanity regardless of their citizenship or nationality. The human rights doctrine can in this respect therefore come into direct conflict with other doctrines of the sovereignty of other governments in the world and the law because of the universality that has led to the pursuit of the agenda of human rights at stages of international co-operation in the era of post war.
Ever since the Human Rights Act came into force, it has elicited a lot of divided opinion. Debate has risen in Britain as whether to repeal the Human Rights Act, extend it or whether it should be replaced altogether with the British Human Rights. Repealing the Human Rights Act refers to abolishing or evoking the act altogether while extending it will imply that this Act could stay on longer without being repealed or cancelled by the British Government . In Britain, some fundamental individual freedoms are today protected by the Human Rights Act of 1998 which requires all the Britain law to obey the European Convention of 1950 on Human Rights and which also makes it possible for the convention to be enforceable in all the British Courts and makes it mandatory for the Judiciary to interpret the local law so that it complies with the convention.
The Human Rights Act which came into force some ten years ago seeks to protect the individual rights of people and has had a lasting impact in many fields of our private and public lives. The Human Rights Act incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into the British law and therefore made it unlawful for any Public body or Officer to act or behave in way which is incompatible with the convention.
The 1998 Human Rights Act made the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) to be part and parcel of the British National Law. Before that, the courts were only allowed to take the European Convention on Human Rights in very limited circumstances during domestic proceedings. However, section 19 of the Act made it mandatory for any future legislation to contain compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. The Human Rights Act was in 1998 hailed to be a landmark statute but which has elicited a lot of controversy and misconception.
The Human Rights Act of 1998 is an Act of Parliament that brought some certain elements into the legal system of Britain about the Human Rights of the European convention. In the Human Rights Act, The British Courts are required to uphold and apply the European Convention on Human Rights in each and every decision that they make. This convention was developed so that safeguard against the rejuvenation of Nazism and the protection of the rights it seeks to protect after the Second World War.
The Articles which are contained in the Human Rights Convention proclaim among others the right to life which is contained in Article 2, prohibition of torture of human beings which is contained in Article 3, the prohibition of forced labor and slavery which is contained in Article 4, the right to security and liberty which is contained in Article 5, the right to a fair and just trial which is contained in article six, the prohibiting of extra legal punishment which is contained in article seven, the right to respect of the private family life of individuals which contained in Article eight and the freedom of conscience, thought and religion which is contained in article nine. The convention also spells out the freedom of expression that is contained in Article ten and the freedom of association and assembly that is clearly depicted in article eleven. The right to marriage and the prohibition of discrimination are contained in articles twelve and fourteen respectively.
The legal modern approach of human rights that binds the governments to this act arose from the United Nations Declaration on Human rights in 1948 which internationally developed a secular agreement on the rights of the human kind to provide the means through which the desire of the governments of the world could be able to prevent the recurrence of atrocities which were committed in the 2nd world war through setting of a common standard for all people and states.
The Human Rights Act should therefore not be repealed but instead, it should be directly incorporated into British law. This is because given the fact that there is lack of a codified constitution which sets out the citizen’s rights, the British doctrine for the sovereignty of parliament cannot provide enough protection for the rights of individuals from a government which is intrusive. The Human Rights Act can therefore ensure that all these are achieved.
The Human Rights Act should be extended so that the British parliament cannot be able to repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA) in the same way as they do to the other laws. Currently, the Human Rights Act has got no privileged position in the British Law and therefore it can easily be changed in the constitution without the need for special procedures and therefore once it can be incorporated into the British Bill of Rights, it will become difficult for anyone to easily change it to suit his or her circumstances.
The Human Rights Act should not be repealed but instead be extended because contrary to the arguments of the critics against the act who say that it has undermined the authority of parliament, the ability by the judges to issue any declarations of incompatibility, these judges have no empowerment to strike down any laws which are incompatible but instead, it is the government which must make a decision as to how to respond to any declaration.
The Human Rights Act should be extended because it does not go far enough and therefore gives numerous chances in the Human Rights Convention for the governments to opt out of some certain provisions for the sake of their national security. Due to the much widened definition of national security in the world of the post September 11, public authorities have been given too much license.
The Human Rights Act should never be abolished or even be replaced with the British Bill of Rights as suggested by some of the conservatives like David Cameron but it should instead be extended so that that a culture of impunity cannot be created by the government. Calls by the democrats that the Human Rights Act should never be repealed should therefore be strongly supported by all and sundry. This is because according to available statistics, the Courts dealing with the Human Rights Act in the convention has performed very well since for the past half century, the court which is concerned has delivered close to 12, 000 judgments.
Repealing of the Human Rights Act would make the laws under it to be under the control of the Judges in Britain. By so doing, a complicated legal situation could be created and this will lead to threatening of the protection that is currently provided in the European Law on Human Rights. By repealing the Human Rights Act, the British government could have been empowered to make decisions affecting Britain to solely remain in Britain and by so doing, a culture of impunity will be created and this will trample on the rights of the ordinary citizens in Britain. The Human Rights Act should therefore never be repealed or replaced with the British Bill of Rights but instead, it should be extended. This is because the British Courts are a backstop of preventing the infringement of the fundamental rights and as such, they command a great respect from the general public.
On the other hand, replacing the Human Rights Act with the British Bill of Rights cannot be a sure way of restoring the responsibility for the balancing act to politicians in Britain which the general public can easily elect or boot out according to their preferences. The Human Rights Act should therefore be extended so that the rogue politicians can be tamed by laws which are universally established and recognized.
The establishment of the British Bill of Rights will make the British government to have absolute power as a result of the rediscovered freedom which will negatively hamper the delivery of justice in the country. Given the fact that the decisions will remain in the country and not subject to laws from outside, it will create more room for bribery to exist and develop roots since people who make major decisions about human rights are located in one specific county. Attempts to repeal the Human Rights Act should be discarded because it could be detrimental to the British people. People are entitled towards voicing their opinions if they feel there is violation of their human rights. The Human Rights Act therefore remains the best for delivering justice to all people without any fear or favor.
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