Joint Committee On Human Rights Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Joint Committee On Human Rights, Monday 21 May 2007

  On Monday 21 May Charlie Falconer, my predecessor as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, appeared before the Joint Committee on Human Rights along with Cathy Ashton in order to give evidence to the Committee about the Ministry of Justice and human rights. I understand that the Committee would appreciate further information on a few issues that were raised during the session, which I am happy to provide here.

Leaflets about the Human Rights Act

  Cathy Ashton referred to a series of leaflets about the Human Rights Act. As you know the first of these leaflets, already circulated to the Committee, was aimed at those working in the criminal justice sector. As Cathy described, it is still our intention to produce further leaflets aimed at other sectors, but no firm decisions have been taken yet on the rest of the series. I will be happy to write to you as soon as plans are put in place for any further leaflets.

"SOLACE" DVD

  Cathy Ashton referred to a short DVD on human rights which was produced for the SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) Spring Conference. The Conference was held on 17 and 18 April and was attended by Chief Executives and Corporate Directors from Local Authorities across the UK. The Department for Constitutional Affairs contributed a short film on human rights which featured, amongst others, Cathy Ashton and Shami Chakrabarti. The film was part of a package which was played on the main Conference stage between plenary sessions and on local government and community TV channels. A copy of the DVD was also given to all conference delegates. I am pleased to be able to enclose a copy of the DVD for the Committee's information.

Ministerial Group on Human Rights

  I can confirm that, at present, no meetings are planned for the Ad Hoc Ministerial Group on Human Rights. Ministers will be taking a view as to whether the group should meet again in the future.

Implementation of Strasbourg judgments

  I note that this has matter has since been covered in the Committee Sixteenth Report of this Session, Monitoring the Government's Response to Court Judgments Finding Breaches of Human Rights (18 June 2007). In the light of Lord Lester's question and that Report, I have asked officials to reconsider this issue so that I can address it properly in my response to that report. At this stage, therefore. I can acknowledge that as Lord Lester requested, I am giving further thought to this issue.

  I hope that this response is helpful to the Committee.

16 July 2007





 
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