Catholic Union: Bill of Rights should focus on recognized fundamental rights

Source: Catholic union

The Catholic Union has called for a renewed focus on universal, inviolable and inalienable rights as part of plans for a new bill of rights proposed by the government.

Following a review of the Human Rights Act, the Government is consulting on a number of possible changes to the framework of human rights law in the UK.

In its response to the consultation, the Catholic Union called for respect for the fundamental nature of human rights which are rooted in justice and human dignity and warned against the risk of diluting the concept by describing the political political preferences as new rights.

The Catholic Union warned that this risk could apply whether the interpretation of human rights is the responsibility of international courts, national courts or Parliament.

The amendments proposed by the government would replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights. Ministers said the changes were necessary “to restore the right balance between the rights of individuals, personal responsibility and the wider public interest”.

The Catholic Union has pointed to the risk of expansion or invention of so-called new human rights, especially expansion that threatens to sever the link between human rights and human dignity.

But the Catholic Union also stressed that any reform of human rights law should not impede the ability to robustly challenge alleged violations of legally protected human rights.

Catholic Union Director Nigel Parker commented: “Britain has a proud history of developing an internationally agreed understanding of human rights, and as Catholics we have a clear of the importance of human rights as a concept rooted in the inherent dignity of the human person.

“Whether we have a human rights law or a new bill of rights, what matters is that the integrity and fundamental nature of the concept of human rights is recognized and protected.”

Learn more about the Bill of Rights consultation: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/human-rights-act-reform-a-modern-bill-of-rights

For more information on the Independent Human Rights Act Review, click here: www.gov.uk/guidance/independent-human-rights-act-review (The panel included a fellow Catholic Crusader, Baroness O’Loan)

Key words: Catholic Union, Bill of Rights, Human Rights Act, Nigel Parker, Baroness O’Loan

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