JOINT COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS

22 May 2007

Session 2006-07 Press Notice No. 38

A BRITISH BILL OF RIGHTS

CALL FOR EVIDENCE

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has decided to inquire into whether and why a British Bill of Rights is needed; what rights should be contained in such a Bill of Rights; what should be the relationship between a British Bill of Rights, the Human Rights Act and the UK's other international human rights obligations; and what should be the impact of such a Bill of Rights on the relationship between the executive, Parliament and the courts. The Committee is not at this stage inquiring in detail into other questions of how a British Bill of Rights should work in practice. Interested persons and bodies are invited to submit written evidence for consideration by the Committee by 31 August 2007. This call for evidence identifies the questions in relation to which the Committee would particularly welcome evidence. The Committee intends to hold oral evidence sessions in the autumn.

1. Is a British Bill of Rights needed?

€ Do you think there should be a British Bill of Rights? Please explain the reasons for your view.

€ What would be the purpose of a British Bill of Rights?

€ What would a British Bill of Rights add to the protection for human rights already provided by the Human Rights Act?

2. What should be in a British Bill of Rights?

€ If there were to be a British Bill of Rights, what rights and freedoms should it contain?

€ Should it include any rights currently recognised as common law rights and freedoms, and if so which?

€ Should it include any rights and freedoms currently contained only in legislation, such as rights not to be discriminated against, of data protection and freedom of information, and if so which?

€Should it include social and economic rights, such as health and education, and if so which?

€ Should it include rights and freedoms currently contained in international treaties but not yet part of our law, and if so which?

€ Should it include rights and freedoms contained in other countries' bills of rights and if so which?

€Should it include responsibilities as well as rights and freedoms, and if so, what sorts?

3. What should be the relationship with the Human Rights Act and international human rights obligations?

€ What should be the relationship between a British Bill of Rights and the Human Rights Act?

€ What should be the relationship between a British Bill of Rights and the ECHR/other international human rights treaties?

€ Are there any other relevant issues not covered by the above questions?

4. What should be the impact of a British Bill of Rights on the relationship between the executive, Parliament and the courts?

Submissions should be addressed to the Commons Clerk of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Electronic submission is acceptable, but a signed hard copy should also be sent. In any event, witnesses are asked wherever possible to accompany hard copy by an electronic version, preferably in Word format, and emailed to [email protected]

Evidence becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed, placed on the Internet or circulated by the Committee at any stage. You may publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. Evidence published other than under the authority of the Committee does not attract parliamentary privilege.

THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ARE:

Mr Andrew Dismore MP (Labour, Hendon) (Chairman)
Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (Conservative)
Mr Douglas Carswell MP (Conservative, Harwich)
Lord Judd (Labour)
Nia Griffith MP (Labour, Llanelli)
Lord Lester of Herne Hill (Liberal Democrat)
Dr Evan Harris MP (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
The Earl of Onslow (Conservative)
Mr Richard Shepherd MP (Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills)
Lord Plant of Highfield (Labour)
Mark Tami MP (Labour, Alyn & Deeside)
Baroness Stern (Cross-Bencher)

Clerks of the Committee: Dr Mark Egan (House of Commons) 020 7219 2797 and Mr Bill Sinton (House of Lords) 020 7219 5358

ENQUIRIES: 020 7219 2797/2467 FAX: 020 7219 8393 E-MAIL: [email protected]

HOMEPAGE: http://www.parliament.uk/jchr

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Ms Jessica Bridges-Palmer: 020 7219 0724