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What is a Bill of Rights

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Introduction

What is a Bill of Rights? A Bill of Rights is a statement of values and standards, of rights and responsibilities. It is a 'higher law' than those which Parliament passes, and a standard by which to judge these laws. It sets out our rights and responsibilities as individuals. Arguments for a Bill of Rights * a Bill of Rights gives you the chance to fight for your rights in court * if a Bill of Rights is 'entrenched', Parliament must make sure that laws take account of those rights included in it * a Bill of Rights can give protection to vulnerable minorities * human rights education is easier if there is a single document which ...read more.

Middle

* a Bill of Rights is inflexible. Once a right is included e.g. the right to bear arms in the US, it is difficult to remove it The present situation The UK does not currently have a Bill of Rights. However it does have the Human Rights Act, which came into force on the 2nd of October 2000. This Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. It covers civil and political rights and freedoms. What could a Bill of Rights offer that the Human Rights Act does not? * the Human Rights Act only covers civil and political rights e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, at the moment they are concentrating their efforts on work around monitoring the impact of the Human Rights Act, which these groups welcome as the first step towards a full Bill of Rights. The Act is very significant because it is the first time positive rights have been enshrined in UK law in such a comprehensive way. The question of whether there should be a Human Rights Commission, similar to the Human Rights Commission that has been set up in Northern Ireland as part of the peace process,is also under review. The Commission's role would be to educate people about the Human Rights Act and to help them take court cases for infringement of their rights under the Act where necessary. ...read more.

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