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Threat to Human Rights Act by Tories unacceptable - Adams

24 May, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has urged the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to urgently raise the future of the Human Rights Act with the British government.

Speaking in the Dáil today the Sinn Féin leader expressed serious concern at the threat by the British government to scrap the Human Rights Act 1998.

This threat was contained in the Conservative party manifesto last year.

Gerry Adams said:

“There is uncertainty about the political and policing implications of the Tory threat to the Human Rights Act which is a central piece of legislation for the Good Friday Agreement. This is unacceptable.

“Human rights activists are also deeply concerned about the current status of this threat. An independent study was commissioned earlier this year by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUENGL) in the European Parliament.

“It warned that the proposed British Bill of Rights – to replace the Human Rights Act – would ‘perpetuate a degree of misinformation, disingenuousness and muddying of legal principles’.

“The promised consultation on the Human Rights Act has not yet taken place adding to the confusion. And the British government has produced incoherent and flawed arguments in support of its position.

“The Good Friday Agreement is entirely interlinked with the application of the Human Rights Act. The British Government is obliged to deliver, and I quote, the ‘complete incorporation into law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)’.

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) gives this legal effect to the European Convention.

“There is a responsibility on the Irish government to ensure the British government fully implements the Good Friday and subsequent agreements. This must include the Human Rights Act.

“The Irish government has a particular responsibility as a co-equal guarantor of the Agreements to press the British government to honour its commitments and to engage the British government in a consistent and strategic manner.

“Given that the Good Friday Agreement is an international treaty, the Irish government should work to win the support of the international community for it and for these issues.”

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