February 01, 2023Featured Article Counter-Terrorism Impunity Human Rights Act Accountability and Access to Justice
On 17 January 2023, the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights supported RSI’s argument that human rights in the UK should be enforceable -- not toothless.
In our August 2022 submission, we argued that among other things, the Bill:
The Committee extensively quoted RSI’s analysis in arguing that the UK government’s proposals would, if enacted, violate the right to an effective remedy under Article 13 of the ECHR:
“212. We do not think the way to discourage a ‘litigation culture’ is to deprive human rights victims of an adequate remedy for their loss… Such an approach is very hard to reconcile with the obligation to provide an effective remedy under Article 13 ECHR, as well as the overarching obligation to secure human rights under Article 1 ECHR. Neither of these core obligations suggests that the enforcement of fundamental human rights can be made contingent on ensuring that the state does not find it harder to perform its functions. Rights and Security International told us that:
"We believe that this factor is irrelevant: when rights are at issue, the only legal questions at hand are whether the state has violated a person’s rights and if so, what remedies are necessary to make that person whole and/or prevent a recurrence of the situation."
214. Connectedly, part of the role of damages is to dissuade defendants from acting unlawfully. As Rights and Security International noted: “Damages do indeed impact resources, and this is what makes them effective as an incentive in favour of ensuring rights-respecting behaviours and a deterrent against rights-violating ones.”
The Committee also referenced RSI’s other submissions on the UK government’s international law obligation to act in good faith when fulfilling its treaty obligations (at para. 236).
For the JCHR’s report, see here.
For RSI’s submission, see here.
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