British Academy publishes Bill of Rights briefings on Scotland and Northern Ireland

24 Aug 2016

The British Academy has today, Wednesday 24 August 2016, published two briefings by human rights experts on the implications of potential changes in the UK’s relationship with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The briefings are titled Scotland and the British Bill of Rights proposals, by Christine Bell and Northern Ireland and a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom, by Colin Harvey. They follow on from the British Academy’s policy report Human Rights and the UK constitution, published in September 2012.

In Northern Ireland and a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom, Professor Harvey aims to raise awareness of the Northern Ireland context in any new Bill of Rights, and the influence it would have on future relationships between the UK and Ireland.  

Scotland and the British Bill of Rights addresses the specific considerations for Scotland of repeal or replacement of the Human Rights Act. It states that if the Human Rights act 1998 were to be repealed or replaced there would be a consequential need to amend the Scotland Act.

The briefings are the first two in a series which will explore ECHR issues. They are available to download here:

Northern Ireland and a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom, by Colin Harvey

Scotland and the British Bill of Rights, by Christine Bell

A blogpost by Professor Bell and a podcast of both authors discussing the briefings are also available to download. 

Editor’s notes:

  1. For further information, interviews with the authors or to request a copy of the briefings, please contact the Press Office on [email protected] or 020 7969 5227.

  2. Christine Bell is Assistant Principal (Global Justice), Co-Director of the Global Justice Academy, and Professor of Constitutional Law and a member of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law, University of Edinburgh.

  3. Colin Harvey is Professor of Human Rights Law, Queen’s University Belfast and a former Head of the School of Law and Director of the Human Rights Centre.

  4. The British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Established by Royal Charter in 1902. Its purpose is to inspire and support high achievement in the humanities and social sciences throughout the UK and internationally, and to promote their public value. For more information, please visit
    Follow the British Academy on Twitter @britac_news.

Contact the press office

For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

Sign up to our email newsletters