How Does Human Rights and Equality Law Effect Our Lives?

A recent article by the Guardian has highlighted the impact that human rights law and equality legislation can have on our everyday lives.

The Guardian reported that that drivers who live in areas with high numbers of ethnic minorities are much more likely to pay a higher car insurance premium that those who do not. It is estimated that people living in these areas will pay on average £450 a year extra.

These figures come from a report released by the former equality commissioner.

The Director of General Policy at the Association of British Insurers has said, “Car insurers have never and will never set prices based on ethnicity, as it is ethically wrong and prohibited by the 2010 Equality Act. Premiums are higher in certain parts of the country because claims costs are higher in certain parts of the country.” He also went on to criticise the lack of consultation of key players in the insurance market.

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A UK lawyer has also commented, “Discrimination on the basis of a person’s ethnicity, heritage or race is illegal under UK law.”

The Equality Act was brought into force in 2010 and drew together a series of equality legislation such as the Equal Pay Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Sex Discrimination Act.

Legislation such as this helps to protect us against from discrimination.

Human Rights Lawyer’s Concern Over Brexit

As the dust begins to settle on last month’s monumental vote to leave the European Union, neither Britain or the rest of Europe are any closer to knowing what the relationship between Britain and the EU will be.

Many people are also questioning what Human Rights protections will be in place when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

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Shortly after the result of the vote was clear, David Cameron announced his decision to step down as Prime Minister. He had supported a Remain vote and with his newly negotiated EU deal for the UK failing to convince the electorate to stay in the EU, many felt he had no choice but to resign.

This sparked a Tory leadership race, but due to various factors the contest did not go to the Tory membership and Theresa May was elected leader of the party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

However, many commentators are concerned about Mrs May’s past record on Human Rights. May is one of the longest serving Home Secretaries of recent times and supported repealing the Human Rights Act.

The Guardian has reported that Theresa May said, “It isn’t the EU we should leave but the ECHR [European court of human rights] and the jurisdiction of its courts.”

Martha Spurrier, a Human Rights lawyer who works for Liberty, has urged Theresa May to keep the Human Rights Act.

The Human Rights Act provides basic protections to all and helps to ensure that the most vulnerable, including those who are detained whilst seeking refugee status in the UK.

Like so many aspects of unwinding decades European Union legislation, there is no way of knowing what the future will hold.