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Lords question legal academics on impact of repeal of human rights law

The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee begins its inquiry into the impact on EU law of a UK decision to repeal the Human Rights Act, by speaking to academic experts from the University of Essex, Oxford University and Edinburgh Law School.

The Government's election manifesto stated its aim to ‘scrap' the Human Rights Act (HRA) replace it with a "British Bill of Rights", as well as a promise to limit the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), although there was no mention of withdrawal from it.

With a consultation on the British Bill of Human Rights expected within the next few months, the Committee decided to investigate the issues this policy might raise for the UK's relationship with the EU, and for its obligations under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in order to inform the political and public debate.

At 11:15am tomorrow, the Committee will speak to:

  • Professor Steve Peers, Professor of European and Human Rights Law at the University of Essex, and a leading expert on EU Justice and Home Affairs law;
  • Professor Sionaidh Douglas, Professor of European and Human Rights Law at Oxford University and a leading expert on the relationship between EU fundamental rights law and European Court of Human Rights law; and
  • Dr Tobias Lock, Lecturer in European Law at the Edinburgh Law School, Edinburgh University.

The witnesses are likely to face questions on a number of issues and areas, including the protection of Human Rights under the ECHR and EU Law, including any distinctions and overlaps between the scope of human rights protection under the European Convention on Human Rights and under the EU Charter; the ramifications of Repeal of the Human Rights Act and withdrawal from the ECHR on the UK, including if a repeal of the HRA could put the UK in direct conflict with EU law and, if so, in which particular areas; and the ramifications of Repeal of the HRA and withdrawal from ECHR for the UK in the EU, including whether a British Bill of Rights would have to be subject to EU law. 

The evidence session will take place on Tuesday 20 October, at 11:15am in Committee Room 3A of the House of Lords.

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