Human rights are, and always have been, at the heart of the work of Law Centre NI.
We are deeply concerned about the Government’s proposals to reform the Human Rights Act 1998. The proposals will have ramifications for effective access to justice and the protection of fundamental rights in Northern Ireland.
Furthermore, we are particularly concerned as to how any changes to the Human Rights Act will impact citizens of Northern Ireland under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Law Centre NI Director, Ursula O’Hare, said: “Human rights are for everyone. The protection of someone’s legal rights is key to an equal society. We are concerned that any steps to erode the protections of the Human Rights Act will make it more difficult for our clients, who include particularly vulnerable groups, to effectively realise their rights.”
The purpose of the Human Rights Act was primarily to enable individuals to enforce and uphold their rights within the UK legal system. Law Centre NI has first-hand experience of how the Human Rights Act has played a significant role in giving individuals the power to enforce their rights in practice. Any dilution of these rights will offer reduced protection for those who need it most and will make enforcing their rights more difficult.