Joint Committee On Human Rights Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

37.  Memorandum from Haringey Council

  I am writing in response to your request for submissions to the above Inquiry. We are a London local authority which seeks to ensure compliance with the Human Rights Act in the formulation of policy and discharge of duties. Our work in this area has convinced us of the value of having a Human Rights Commission which could:

    —  Be proactive in ensuring all public bodies receive the information and guidance they need on their responsibility under the Human Rights Act to protect human rights.

    —  Raise public awareness of human rights and our responsibility to protect the human rights of others.

    —  Monitor the extent to which the human rights of adults and children are protected and advise government and parliament on reforms that are needed in Law, Policy or Practice.

    —  Assist in the development of information provision for the public and training programmes for those who advise them; to refer members of the public to those with relevant legal expertise and to take test case or make intervention where it is in the public interest that the law be changed or challenged.

  On the issue of the relationship with the existing Commissions given their specific focus and the broader remit of a Human Rights Commission, there is a strong case for establishing a separate Human Rights Commission.

Seamus Taylor

Head of Policy: Equalities & Diversity

25 June 2001

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