Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Human Rights Act to be amended by minister's order?

In the wake of Tony Blair's metaphorical table thumping about the Human Rights Act only protecting those terrible badies at the expense of us unfortunate goodies, an amendment to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill has been quietly dropped in the midst of the complicated report stage of the bill. The amendment, which was to be the new clause 26, read:

"An order under this Part may not make provision amending or repealing any provision of—

(a) this Part; or

(b) the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42)."

So there was to be no bypassing of the parliamentary process to change the Human Rights Act. Now the clause has been dropped, though, once the Leg. & Reg. bill passes, the HRA can be changed by ministerial order or the order of any other approved official.

Now Mr Blair is spoiling for another - can't lose - public relations battle, we can't have unreasonable barriers like parliament and the law getting in the way of demonstrating how he can be tough on the HRA and tough on the causes of the HRA, can we?

[PS Marina Hyde is quite funny about Mr Blair apparently shedding a tear in the rose garden when telling Charles Clarke he was sacking him recently
"Now, I do not dispute the import of this moment. But if I found my lachrymose self taking refuge in the shrubbery to hide my anguish at having to lose an overpromoted, incompetent bully like Charles Clarke, I feel sure I would suddenly, in a moment quite blinding in its profundity, be struck with the sense that it would not be long before my political (and probably psychological) number was up, and I would be shunted off to the great borrowed villa in the sky."]

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