Justice, too, has a health crisis

While fighting Covid is essential to our physical survival, there are threats to our democratic traditions which we ignore at our peril.

Recent proposals by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab threaten to put the Government above the rule of law, says Graham Colley, President of Rights-Liberties-Justice, the Liberal Lawyers Association .

Graham Colley writes: “I was trying to remember when we last had a government that was committed to Human Rights, Civil Liberties and Access to Justice.

True, the Blair Government did introduce the Human Rights Act and Freedom of Information legislation, but also undermined civil liberties with the expansion of police powers, introduction of new offences, and tougher penalties and longer custodial sentences – accompanied by a weakening of the safeguards in the criminal justice process.

“Legal Aid was under relentless attack starting in the Thatcher era to the extent that it is, now, all, but non-existent .

“I regret that after some thought, research and with some exceptions, I cannot find a time, at least since when Roy Jenkins was Home Secretary, when overall Rights, Liberties and Justice have not been eroded by Neoliberalist/Libertarian thought in government.

“The sustained attack on the principles for which Rights-Liberties-Justice stands , has now culminated with the Premiership of Mr Johnson and his Justice Secretary, Mr Raab. The latter has suggested he would:

legislate to “correct” court judgements on human rights cases that go against the government

and would ” 

overhaul the Human Rights Act with the aim of putting the government above the reach of the law”.

“So, in 2022, Rights-Liberties-Justice/LDLA have will have to work as we have never done before to stop erosion of the principles of Liberalism we hold dear. Fortunately, we have allies in the Good Law Project , Unlock Democracy Best for Britain, Open Democracy and others.

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