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January 20, 2009

Human Rights: don't hold your breath

"I was reflecting overnight on the development of the law of equity," Jack Straw said this afternoon.

The remark struck me as entirely appropriate for a Lord Chancellor to make, since it was his predecessors who developed the law of equity half a millennium ago to soften some of the rough edges of the common law.

Mr Straw told the Joint Parliamentary Human Rights Committee that he was hoping to do something similar for the Human Rights Act with his proposed Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. There could be "maxims of rights and responsibilities".

But don't hold your breath. The next step will be a Green Paper. That won't be published much before Easter, his ministerial colleague Michael Wills told the committee.

As for legislation, the most there will be is a draft Bill. We will not see legislation enacted this side of a General Election, Mr Straw explained.

And who knows what will happen after that?

Posted at January 20, 2009 04:59 PM