Politics class: UK plans to overhaul human rights law come under fire
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AQA Component 1, Section 220.127.116.11: The nature and sources of the British Constitution: debates about the extent of rights in the UK
Edexcel Component 1, 1.4: Rights in context: debates on the extent, limits and tensions within the UK’s rights-based culture
Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:
UK plans to overhaul human rights law come under fire
Background: what you need to know
We have known since late last year that the Johnson government intends to replace the 1998 Human Rights Act with a ‘British Bill of Rights’. Conservatives have long argued that the Act privileges ‘undeserving’ individuals who bring cases that, in their opinion, are without merit. This article reviews the defence of the Act made by pressure groups such as Liberty, who argue that government plans will have the effect of weakening protections for human rights and make it harder to challenge the power of government.
Click to read the article below and then, depending on the examination board you are following, answer one of the questions:
Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1
‘The Human Rights Act is an essential guarantee of UK citizens’ rights.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]
Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2
Evaluate the view that the Human Rights Act is an essential safeguard of UK citizens’ rights. You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]
TIP: Remember to use different cases involving the Act in your answer. The Shamima Begum case (2021) illustrates the clash that can occur between the rights of an individual and considerations of national security:
Shamima Begum cannot return to UK for citizenship battle, Supreme Court rules On the issue of privacy rights, see this case from 2020:
Data case defeat increases Tory pressure to quit ECHR
Graham Goodlad, St John’s College