The Joint Committee on Human Rights consists of twelve members, appointed from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, to examine matters relating to human rights within the United Kingdom. (This excludes consideration of individual cases.)
The Committee's work includes scrutinising every Government Bill for its compatibility with human rights, including;
- The rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protected in UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998
- Common law fundamental rights and liberties
- The human rights contained in other international obligations of the UK
This scrutiny of Bills also includes consideration of whether the Bill presents an opportunity to enhance human rights in the UK.
The Committee also scrutinises the Government’s response to court judgments concerning human rights, and the UK’s compliance with its human rights obligations contained in a range of international treaties.
The Committee will also conduct thematic inquiries, where the Committee choose its own subjects of inquiry and seek evidence from a wide range of groups and individuals with relevant experience and interest.
The Committee are also required to report to Parliament on any remedial order made under the Human Rights Act 1998. A remedial order is a form of delegated legislation. Remedial Orders seek to correct breaches of human rights, identified by either domestic courts or the European Court of Human Rights, between UK law and the ECHR.
The Committee's formal remit can be found under HC Standing Order No. 152B.