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Lords questions former Attorney General on repeal of Human Rights Act

The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee will question the Rt Hon Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, former Attorney General, on Tuesday 8 December, in the latest evidence session of its inquiry into the impact on EU law of a UK decision to repeal the Human Rights Act.

The Committee is investigating the consequences of the Government's proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act (HRA) and replace it with a "British Bill of Rights".

Lord Goldsmith was appointed by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to be the UK representative to the convention drafting the Charter in 1999 and 2000. He was subsequently appointed Attorney General in June 2001 and remained in office until June 2007. He was the UK representative in the negotiation of the Charter, and was involved in the agreement of what became Protocol 30 concerning the application of the Charter to the UK.

The Committee will explore a number of areas with Lord Goldsmith, including:

  • why it was thought necessary for the EU to have a Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UK's main concerns during the negotiations;
  • what he considers to be the respective strengths of enforcing human rights standards under the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Charter in national courts;
  • whether he thinks there are likely to be increased references to the Court of Justice from the UK Courts if the Human Rights Act were repealed, and if he thinks the Charter is likely to be interpreted more broadly as a consequence; and
  • whether a British Bill of Rights would have to be subject to the supremacy of EU law, including the EU Charter.

The evidence session will take place on Tuesday 8 December, at 10.45am in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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