Human Rights Inquiry




The UK Government has indicated that it intends to bring forward proposals (which will be "subject to full consultation") to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. 

The commitment to a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act was included in the Queen’s speech. The UK Government’s intention is that—

"This would reform and modernise our human rights legal framework and restore common sense to the application of human rights laws. It would also protect existing rights, which are an essential part of a modern, democratic society, and better protect against abuse of the system and misuses of human rights laws."

The European and External Relations Committee issued a call for written evidence on the potential implications for Scotland of the repeal of the Human Rights Act and its replacement with a British Bill of Rights. The written evidence submitted in response to this call for evidence will inform further inquiry work.


Written evidence

The Committee issued a call for written evidence on the implications for Scotland of the repeal of the Human Rights Act and the introduction of a British Bill of Rights. The closing date was Wednesday 18th November 2015.

Read the call for evidence

Read the responses received by the Committee

Evidence sessions

3 March 2016

The committee took evidence from Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights.

Official Report 3 March 2016

4 February 2016

The Committee took evidence from:

Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Legal Services Agency, and representing the Campaign for Housing and Social Welfare Law;
Michael P Clancy, Director of Law Reform, the Law Society of Scotland;
Dr Tobias Lock, Lecturer in EU Law and Co-Director Europa Institute, School of Law, University of Edinburgh;
Naomi McAuliffe, Programme Director-Scotland, Amnesty International;
Simon Di Rollo QC, Faculty of Advocates;
Professor Alan Miller, Chair, Scottish Human Rights Commission;
Professor David Mead, Professor of UK Human Rights Law, School of Law, University of East Anglia (via video conference)

Official Report 4 February 2016


The Committee wrote to the UK Government with the key points from its inquiry.


SPICe briefing

For more information on Human Rights, see the following SPICe briefing:

The European Convention on Human Rights in the United Kingdom (690KB pdf)