The Scottish Government issued a consultation seeking views to help inform plans for a Scottish Human Rights Bill. The Bill would incorporate a range of economic, social and cultural rights into Scots law for the first time, as far as possible within the limits of devolved competence.
- Read the consultation on the Scottish Government website.
- Read our response to the consultation (October 2023).
This consultation seeks views on the government’s proposals to revise the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights, in order to restore a proper balance between the rights of individuals, personal responsibility and the wider public interest.
- Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights
- Law Society of Scotland response 11 March 2022
The Law Society of Scotland briefing in response to the terms of Her Majesty’s most gracious speech to both Houses of Parliament and focused on the Bill of Rights in advance of the debate on the address in the House of Lords on Thursday 12 May
The Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review Panel was appointed in January 2021 following the Government’s manifesto commitment to “update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government.” It is expected to report later this year.
- View the third report of session.
In the Conservative party’s manifesto of December 2019, on which the current Government was elected, they committed to “update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government”.
An independent review panel was elected and a call for evidence was launched for the panel to review.
- Please read the call for evidence from the UK Government here
- The Law Society's response can be read here
The Independent Human Rights Act Review has been set up by the UK Government to examine the framework of the Human Rights Act, how it is operating in practice and whether any change is required. Specifically, the review will look at two key themes, which are outlined in the Terms of Reference as:
- the relationship between domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
- the impact of the HRA on the relationship between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature
We submitted our response to the review on 3 March 2021.
Following a round-table organised by the Society and chaired by Sir Peter Gross, Chair of the Independent Human Rights Act Review, on 29 March we submitted supplementary evidence to the review, picking up on some of the themes that were discussed during the event.
To mark International Human Rights Day, the Scottish Government led a debate in the Scottish Parliament reaffirming Scotland’s support for human rights defenders. The Law Society provided a briefing to all MSPs in advance of that debate highlighting the important contribution that the international legal community makes to this work.
The Scottish Parliament's Equalities and Human Rights Committee has issued an inquiry which will consider human rights under three main themes: participation and engagement, Parliamentary procedure and process, and accountability.
- View the inquiry on the Scottish Parliament website
- The Law Society of Scotland's response (March 2018)