The dust hasn’t settled since plans to undermine everyone’s right to data protection were announced, but the Government are at it again. Plans to ditch the Human Rights Act were just unveiled, in a combined effort to steamroll the rule of law and the freedoms we have always taken for granted.
Like the UK Data Reform Bill, the British Bill of Rights came after a nonsensical consultation document and a farcical consultation process. Like the Data Reform Bill, the Bill of Rights will diminish the protections it claims to strengthen. And like the Data Reform Bill, an honest assessment of the proposed changes reveals a coherent attempt to undermine legal standards in favour of arbitrariness, corruption and abuses.
The Bill of Rights would impose a duty on domestic Courts to give “greater weight” to the views of Parliament on whether legislation that trumps the rights enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights is compatible with it. This ultimately defeats the purpose of the ECHR — which is to oppose and hold lawmakers to account if they act in violation of these rights.
This also substantially lowers data protection: let’s see how the impact of this constitutional butchery reverberates in data protection, and why both reforms follow a common thread.
Legalise this Government
Concepts developed in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, such as “necessity” and “public interest”, also define boundaries concerning the extent and legitimacy of data uses. Changes in the Bill of Rights risk creating