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Durham Law School Human Rights Centre members have responded to a Call for Evidence from the Independent Human Rights Act Review.

Members of the Durham Law School’s Human Rights Centre have submitted a response to the Call for Evidence of the Independent Human Rights Act Review. The Review was established to assess the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and to determine whether any changes are required. The Review invited submissions on two themes. Firstly, views were sought on “the relationship between domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)”, and secondly, “the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the relationship between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature”. 

In its response, the Centre argues in relation to the first theme that no change to the Human Rights Act 1998 is required. This is because under the current framework “domestic courts are able to develop an autonomous human rights jurisprudence, thus contributing to effective dialogue between the UK and Strasbourg courts”. In addressing the second theme, the response argues that “the courts’ case law has given effect to Parliamentary intention and has resulted in a thoughtful balance between the duties of public authorities to observe human rights, the interpretation of legislation consistently with human rights, and the declaration of incompatibility mechanism”. The response concludes that, “any reversal or major change to this structure could expose the UK to increased litigation before the Strasbourg court, which the HRA has been successful in minimising”. 

See the full response from Durham Law School's Human Rights Centre here: Durham HRC IHRAR response