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Grave Concern Over UK Government Changes to Human Rights Laws

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Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie has reiterated her grave concerns over UK Government plans to change the Human Rights Act, arguing that its safeguards are “an essential feature of a democratic society founded on the rule of law”.

Responding to plans outlined in the Queen’s Speech to introduce a new Bill of Rights, Ms McKelvie also warned that the UK Government risked interfering with the devolution settlement.

She said:

“The Human Rights Act has successfully protected rights and freedoms across the whole of the UK for more than 20 years.

“We will continue to robustly oppose any attempt to replace it with a Bill of Rights.

“The safeguards provided by existing legislation protect every member of Scottish society.

“They are an essential feature of a democratic society founded on the rule of law.

“These rights are also at the heart of the devolution settlement.

“Changes must not be made without the explicit consent of the Scottish Parliament.

“At the same time, the Scottish Government is showing human rights leadership by protecting and enhancing our rights and freedoms.

“Future Scottish legislation will extend human rights safeguards even further.”

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