Law Society calls for a fresh look at “constitutional rights”

The Law Society has called for the creation of “constitutional rights” that apply to people’s every day lives, by adding to the existing laws rather than creating a separate Bill of Rights. The call comes after the Commission on a Bill of Rights published its recommendations.
The Law Society says that the existing legislation – the Human Rights Act – should not be replaced but added to so that the public have a set of constitutional rights that apply to them, such as economic, social and education rights.
Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: “The current laws, while protecting valuable rights that any democracy should have in place, can be supplemented so that constitutional rights covering a range of other aspects of our lives are protected.
“Why can’t families up and down the country have rights enshrined in law that are relevant to them? We need a public debate around whether certain economic and social rights, such as education, health, employment and adequate housing, possibly even consumer rights, should be added to the existing law to add to our constitutional rights. With that must come a clearer explanation about what those rights mean for the public as they go about their everyday lives.
“It is a little known fact that Britain played a leading role in creating the European Court of Human Rights. Let’s play a new leading role in creating a bank of rights that continue to be relevant to the lives of people in Britain in 2012 and beyond. Let’s adapt the current laws to reflect that, rather than go into the unknown with a new Bill of Rights.”
19 December 2012

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