November 2016

The Society’s committees have been working on a number of Scottish Parliament and UK Parliament Bills and consultations including Scottish Court Fees, the human rights implications of Brexit and brain injury and offending.

Key areas are highlighted below. For more information see the law reform section of the website

Human rights implications of Brexit

We have responded to an inquiry issued by the UK Parliament Joint Committee on Human Rights on the impact of the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the EU on the human rights framework and protection of human rights in the UK.

The specific issue of how leaving the EU will impact on human rights touches on a wide range of areas, from the rights to family life or those currently exercising the right to free movement, to data protection and privacy rights relating to how our information is handled and used, and the underlying structure of our equalities law. In general, the rights that are enjoyed in the context of the EU are often found in a variety of sources, but may vary slightly in the detail and options for enforcement and remedy.

Following the UK’s exit from the EU the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would still apply and the UK would remain bound it. The Secretary of State for Justice has confirmed that the UK Government does not intend to withdraw from the ECHR at this stage, but is still pursuing a repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and a replacement with a British Bill of Rights. However, at this stage, we have not had detailed proposals on what a new Bill of Rights would contain, and so it is difficult to comment on the potential role that this would play in either maintaining EU rights in the UK, or in developing the UK’s human rights laws in a different direction.

You can read our response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights here