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Panel to discuss UK Bill of Rights

Panel to discuss UK Bill of Rights

A commission charged with coming up with any improvements to the European Court of Human Rights will also consider the case for a Bill of Rights for people in the UK.

The Ministry of Justice said the commission – which will publish its final report by the end of 2012 – will examine human rights and how they are upheld in the UK, especially "in a way that properly reflects (UK) traditions".

Former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf warned the UK could be "forced" to withdraw from the European court's jurisdiction because of difficulties UK courts might have in balancing opposing rights.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the commission "will help us maintain and build upon an enduring framework of fundamental rights that will prevent the abuse and erosion of these freedoms for generations to come".

And according to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke: "The commission has a very important role to play in examining the operation of the European Court of Human Rights and how we implement human rights in the UK."

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of civil rights group Liberty, said she is hoping the commission, headed by former permanent secretary Sir Leigh Lewis, will conclude that the Human Rights Act "already provides a uniquely British Bill of Rights".

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