The Commission on a Bill of Rights was established in March 2011 and mandated to investigate the creation of a UK Bill of Rights which draws upon current ECHR obligations. On 18 December 2012, the Commission published its report. Seven of the nine committee members advocated the creation of a UK Bill of Rights, while the two dissenting members have voiced concerns that a Bill could be used as a means of decoupling the UK from the ECHR. The Commission’s Chair, Sir Leigh Lewis KCB, will discuss the report’s findings and likely impact.
Sir Leigh Lewis was Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions from 2005 until his retirement from the Civil Service at the end of 2010. Lewis entered the then Department of Employment in 1973 and during his early career he worked on a wide variety of subjects including trade union legislation, benefits delivery and EU business. He was Private Secretary to the Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham from 1984 to 1986 subsequently spending three years on secondment at Cable & Wireless as Group HR Director from 1988 to 1991. Leigh became Chief Executive of the Employment Service in 1997 and the first ever Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus in 2001. From 2003 to 2005 he was Permanent Secretary for Crime, Policing and Counter-terrorism in the Home Office and was in that role at the time of the 7/7 attacks. Since retiring from the Civil Service Leigh Lewis has become the Chair of London based homelessness charity, Broadway, and has been appointed Chair of the Bill of Rights Commission. He also holds non-executive roles at Aviva PLC, Serco PLC and PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
See the report at the Commission’s webpage justice.gov.uk/about/cbr