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Reforming the Human Rights Act: what does it mean for data?

February 22, 2022 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm GMT

A photograph of the first page of the Human Rights Act (1998) document

The Human Rights Act (1998) is a piece of legislation that defines and protects many of our most basic rights and civil liberties today – from the right to life, to freedom from torture.

It evolved out of the struggles and conflicts of the 20th Century and brings to life the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the subsequent European Convention on Human Rights (1953), a treaty between 47 members of the Council of Europe. The ECHR’s 18 articles and later protocols aimed to secure people’s rights so that governments could never again abuse or dehumanise people, or act without fear of the consequences.

Like the government’s Data: A New Direction consultation on the future of data laws in the UK, for which we held a community consultation with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the new Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights consultation is long, broad and dense.

We know that many pieces of legislation, such as the Equalities Act (2012) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (2018), are underpinned by the Human Rights Act, so any changes will have potentially far-reaching implications regarding how data is used.

More broadly, such changes will have an effect on us all and it is vitally important that a broad range of voices are heard in this debate.

To focus the task at hand, this workshop will help us consider ‘Article 8’ of the Human Rights Act – the ‘right to respect for your private and family life’ – its influence on current data practice and how any changes could affect this, both positively and negatively.

The workshop will:

  • highlight relevant questions within the consultation
  • offer a forum for people to discuss the impacts of the proposed changes
  • guide people through responding to the consultation process

Register for your free ticket here.

The consultation closes at 11:59pm on 8 March 2022.