David Cameron’s plan to scrap the Human Rights Act delayed until 2016 ~ Kate McCann, THE TELEGRAPH, 03 Dec 2015.
The prime minister had promised to publish plans this year, but Michael Gove admitted the ‘complex’ changes will take longer than expected.
Plans to scrap the Human Rights Act have been delayed for a second time, Michael Gove has revealed.
The prime minister’s request for a consultation on whether the UK should set up a constitutional court to block EU laws has triggered a “complex” process, the Justice Secretary warned.
Minsters were expected to publish plans for a British Bill of Rights this month, but they will now be pushed back to next year following a consultation process.
David Cameron was forced to delay plans to scrap the Human Rights Act in May, amid fears his own MPs would oppose the policy.
Speaking at a House of Lords select committee yesterday Mr Gove said: “These are huge questions, they require debate and it’s because they require some thought as I say my original intention which was to publish the consultation document before Christmas has been put back and I expect any consultation document that we produce will be now produced in the New Year because the issue that the Prime Minister raises requires serious thought, consultation within government and then space afterwards to allow proper debate.”
The government is expected to publish plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, which could also develop the supreme court into a constitutional court.
Mr Gove said a new court could prevent European laws from being introduced in the UK if they threaten the new constitution, likening it to the German system.
He told Lords at the committee: “It is the case that the German constitutional court can in certain circumstances say that rulings of the court of justice of the European Union may pose problems for their constitution.”
Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA
It is an idea which has won support of senior legal figures in the UK, including Lord Neuberger, the president of the supreme court.
Last year he said: “If we had a constitution, this would presumably have primacy over decisions of the human rights court in Strasbourg and even those of the EU court in Luxembourg.
But a number of senior Conservative MPs still have reservations about scrapping the Act and withdrawing from the EU convention on human rights.