Liberty to become 'more active' on Scottish civil liberty issues
Shami Chakrabarti "very grateful" for SNP support to retain the Human Rights Act
Civil liberties campaign group Liberty intend to be “more vigilant and more active” in Scotland, their director has said.
Shami Chakrabarti, who was speaking at a Scottish Legal Training event in Edinburgh this week, said the NGO would be one of a number of “checks and balances” given the electoral dominance now exerted by the SNP.
Liberty had largely ceased operating in Scotland due to work originally carried out by the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties and latterly the Scottish Human Rights Centre, which has since folded, said Chakrabarti.
“We started finding increasingly that people in Scotland are joining us and urging us to be more vocal and to be more active,” she added.
“We hesitated for a long time… but at the end of the day it’s coming from communities and it’s coming from people [in Scotland].
“We do intend to be more vigilant and more active because we are wanted in Scotland.”
Chakrabarti said she was “very grateful” for assurances given by the First Minister, who she met in June, that the SNP would use their 56 MPs at Westminster to defend the Human Rights Act 1998, which the Conservatives wish to replace with a British Bill of Rights.
But she added: “I think that when you have overwhelming majorities and a lovely popular, optimistic party, like the SNP currently is, it’s probably even more important to be vigilant and to take it up issue by issue and line by line of legislation and hold to account.”
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