In brief: UK soon to adopt human rights law

A white paper on the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights is imminent, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Laird, revealed on Friday at a Bill of Rights Conference, sponsored by Bindman & Partners at University College London. Irvine told the delegates: “You will not have long to wait.” Stressing the ultimate decision on the form of incorporation lay with parliament, he said: “What is critical is that the form of incorporation sits comfortably with our UK institutions.” He also stressed incorporation would do nothing to disturb the separation of powers. He said judges would “be given a framework by parliament within which to interpret the law”. Lord Irvine added that a new parliamentary committee on human rights might be established to scrutinise bills which raised significant convention issues as well as a human rights commission tasked with scrutinising legislation and bringing individual test cases to court.