Civil and Political Rights in the uk

Download 0.79 Mb.
Size0.79 Mb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   37

Civil and Political Rights in the UK:

Equality and Human Rights Commission Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the United Kingdom’s Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


Civil and Political Rights in the UK: 1

Equality and Human Rights Commission Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the United Kingdom’s Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1

i.The Detained Fast Track system 41

1.Judicial Diversity (Articles 2, 3, 25 and 26), List of Issues paragraph 6 and 9. 75

11. Hate Crime (Articles 2, 3, 20 26 and 27), List of Issues paragraph 5 79

Hate Crime (Articles 2, 3, 20 26 and 27), List of Issues paragraph 5 85

A.Scope of the Report 87

B.Legal Security 88

11.Judicial Diversity (Articles 2, 3, 25 and 26) 88

12.Access to Civil Justice (Article 14) 90

a.Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 91

b.Residence Test for Civil Legal Aid 92

c.Judicial Review Reforms 93

13.Counter Terrorism Provisions (Articles 9 and 14) 94

a.Right to legal advice when detained 94

b.Pre-charge detention 95

c.Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures and Prosecution of Terrorist Suspects 96

d.Closed material proceedings and secret evidence 97

14.Stop and Search (Articles 9, 17 and 26) 99

a.Schedule 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJPOA). 99

i.Summary of the Powers 99

ii.Disproportionality 100

iii.Reasonable Suspicion 101

iv.Effectiveness 101

b.Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 103

15.Trafficking and forced labour (Articles 2, 8, 9, 14, 24 and 26) 105

a.Overview 105

b.Omissions in criminal offences 106

c.Children 107

d.Non-prosecution of victims of trafficking 108

The MSB has improved since its original draft by prohibiting the prosecution of trafficking victims for offences committed by compulsion as a result of slavery or exploitation. This is welcome implementation of the CRC’s concluding observations. It is also necessary, in light of the body of evidence that, despite Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance, individuals continue to be prosecuted for offences committed with victims of trafficking. 108

e.Data collection and the review of the National Referral Mechanism 108

f. Anti-slavery Commissioner 109

16.Privacy and Security (Articles 2, 5 (1) and 17) 110

a.Summary of the Legal Framework 110

b.Judicial Oversight 112

c.Oversight and Accountability 112

d.Legal Certainty 113

e.Non-discrimination 115

17.Prisoner Voting Rights (Article 25) 116

C.Physical Security 118

1.Prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 7) 118

a.Investigations into alleged UK complicity in torture 118

b.Extraordinary Renditions 120

c.Investigations into the mistreatment of detainees in Iraq 120

d.Use of Diplomatic Assurances 122

2.Treatment of Detainees (Articles 9, 10, 12 and 24) 124

a.Immigration Detention 124

i. Vulnerable Asylum Seekers and the Detained Fast Track System 124

ii.Immigration Detention of People with Serious Medical Conditions or Mental Illness 125

iii.Unnatural deaths in custody 126

iv.Immigration Detention of Children 128

b.Prisons 130

i.Prison Overcrowding and Social Reintegration 130

ii.Self-Harm and Deaths in Custody 132

iii.Prisoners with disabilities 133

iv.Women Prisoners 134

v.Detaining the sole or primary carer of a child 136

c.Youth Justice System 138

i.The age of criminal responsibility 138

ii.Alternatives to detaining children in custody 139

1.3. Hate Crime (Articles 7, 9, and 26) 141

i.Data collection 141

ii.Aggravated Offences 143

iii.Motivations 144

2.Violence Against Women (Articles 3, 7, 9, and 26) 145

A. Scope of the Report

A.1 The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is one of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) three ‘A status’ accredited National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). The EHRC’s jurisdiction covers England and Wales and Scottish matters that are reserved to the UK Parliament. The Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has jurisdiction with respect to matters that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and will cover those matters in a separate submission. The EHRC's remit also does not extend to Northern Ireland, which is therefore outside the scope of this report. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has made a separate submission.

A.2 The UK was one of the world’s first countries to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1976 and it has an even longer history of seeking to uphold people’s civil and political rights. However, the UK Government has not ratified the Optional Protocol on ICCPR and remains to be convinced of ‘the added practical value to people in the United Kingdom of rights of individual petition to the United Nations’.1 It also maintains a number of reservations and derogations from the terms of the ICCPR.2

A.3 In July 2014, the EHRC submitted its shadow report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) Pre-Sessional Working Group on the UK’s Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).3 We considered we could most usefully contribute to the HRC’s pre-sessional working group by using our shadow report to focus on two of the domains within our measurement framework:4 Legal Security and Physical Security. In November 2014, the HRC published its list of issues for the UK examination.5

A.4 We note that the majority of the priorities in the EHRC’s submission were identified by the HRC in its list of issues to the State. For this reason, we have retained the focus of our 2014 submission, and provided information on developments which have occurred since July 2014. In addition, we have incorporated two new topics the HRC included in its list of issues to the State:

caste discrimination: we provide an update on caste discrimination legislation and recent case law, and

gender pay gap: we provide analysis on the UK’s progress in tackling this issue under the measurement framework domain of Productive and Valued Activities.

A.5 There have been a number of significant developments in the UK since our previous submission, not least a General Election that saw a new government elected into office. The new government has set out its intention to implement its manifesto in full.6 There are a number of proposals that build on the progress we have identified to date, including:

the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) and the introduction of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Bill in December 20147

the agreement of all 43 police forces to sign up to the voluntary 'Best use of Stop and Search Scheme'

the continued decrease in the number of women, children and young people in criminal and youth justice settings in England and Wales, and prioritising the protection and support of women and girls from violence such as by working with local authorities, the National Health Service and Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure a secure future for specialist FGM and forced marriage units, refuges and rape crisis centres.8

A.6 There are other commitments that have the potential to prompt regression in areas where the EHRC considers the UK’s compliance with its international obligations needs to be improved, such as:

proposals to build more prison places, rather than investing resources in reducing the size of the prison population, as it has done in relation to offenders who are women and young people

proposals to increase the surveillance powers of police and security services.9

Share with your friends:
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   37

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page