UK AG says written constitution for Britain warrants 'serious' study

[JURIST] UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] on Sunday voiced tentative support for a formal, written UK constitution, saying that the possibility merited "serious" consideration. Goldsmith, however, rejected a proposal by Conservative leader David Cameron for a written bill of rights to replace the UK Human Rights Act [text], Britain's codification of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text]. In June, Cameron proposed a US-style bill of rights [JURIST report] to replace the Human Rights Act to balance the protection of civil rights with the responsibility to defend the country against terrorist acts and other threats. Cameron initially called for revisions to the Act [JURIST report], or for the Act to be scrapped altogether, in reaction to a May 2005 High Court decision to allow nine Afghani airplane hijackers to remain in the United Kingdom rather than deport the convicts back to Afghanistan for fear they would be tortured in their home country.

Last year, UK jurists warned that Blair's efforts to pressure the judiciary to favorably interpret the Human Rights Act, coupled with restrictions on traditional civil liberties in anti-terror legislation, risked turning the country into a police state [JURIST report]. The Guardian has more.



 

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