JCHR Press Notice No. 8

13 March 2003     Session 2002-03


The Case for a Human Rights Commission

The Sixth Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, on The Case for a Human Rights Commission will be published on Wednesday 19 March 2003, at 00.01 am.

Embargoed advance copies of the Report will be available to representatives of the press and other accredited persons from the Main Committee Office in the House of Commons from 11.00 am on Monday 17th March.

The Report is the culmination of a two-year long inquiry.  In its 1997 White Paper, Bringing Rights Home, the Government suggested any parliamentary committee on human rights which was established after the Human Rights Act was passed might examine whether a human rights commission was needed and how it should operate.

This Report is the response of the Joint Committee on Human Rights to that proposal.  It sets out the Committee's assessment of whether there is a case for an independent body to promote and protect human rights. The Government undertook in Bringing Rights Home to "give full weight" to the Committee's findings "in considering whether to create a statutory Human Rights Commission in the future".

The Report also constitutes the Committee's formal response to the Government's consultation on institutional arrangements for the promotion of equality and diversity in the light of the proposal to establish a new Single Equality Body.

The Report is House of Lords Paper 67-I/House of Commons Paper 489-I.  A separate volume II includes the written evidence.  The Report will also be available on the Committee's website.