The proposed scrapping of the Human Rights Act by the Conservatives has been condemned by the Scottish Government, which said the “appalling” move was likely to harm the country’s most vulnerable people.
On his first day in the job, the new Scottish Secretary David Mundell provoked a serious row between Holyrood and Westminster by suggesting that any change in legislation would have to be adopted north of the border.
The Tories want to replace the Human Rights Act with a new British Bill of Rights, giving UK judges and the Westminster parliament the “final say” on human rights issues instead of Strasbourg. If the changes go ahead, the European Court’s judgments would be treated as “advisory” rather than binding in the future.
Mr Mundell, who is the only Tory MP in Scotland, said: “New legislation replaces existing legislation and therefore the new act will apply in Scotland.” He claimed that Scots were worried about the undue influence of the European Court and felt that the current system “got the balance wrong between rights and responsibilities”.