Ministerial changes at the MoJ and the implications for human rights reform

Some potentially significant changes to the ministerial team at the Ministry of Justice have been announced. Along with the appointment of Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes – who replaces Lord McNally – as Minister of State, Lord Faulks QC is joining the department as a further (and unpaid) Minister of State. The former appointment – given … Continue reading Ministerial changes at the MoJ and the implications for human rights reform

Law, Rights and Constitutional Politics: reflections on the Human Rights Act’s past and future

I have just finished work on a chapter for a collection of essays – Democracy in Britain: Essays in Honour of James Cornford – which will shortly be published by the Institute for Public Policy Research. In my chapter, "Law, Rights and Constitutional Politics", I reflect on the ongoing debate concerning the protection of human … Continue reading Law, Rights and Constitutional Politics: reflections on the Human Rights Act’s past and future

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and UK law

Earlier this week, the Daily Mail ran a story under the headline: "Dozens of EU human rights are smuggled into the UK: Grayling attacks Brussels after claims by top judge". The "top judge" in question is Mostyn J, whose "claims" were made in the case of R (AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 3453 … Continue reading The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and UK law

Osborn: The common law, the Convention, and the right to an oral hearing

http://youtu.be/V11oUQC4aP0 I wrote recently about the what might happen if—as is an increasingly less-fanciful prospect—human rights law in the UK were to be fundamentally altered through repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and perhaps even withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. In that piece, I suggested that while such changes would be far from … Continue reading Osborn: The common law, the Convention, and the right to an oral hearing

Repealing the Human Rights Act: what might lie ahead?

As noted in an earlier post, repealing the Human Rights Act 1998—and perhaps withdrawing the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights—is now firmly on the political agenda (at least as far as the Conservatives are concerned). What, then, might lie ahead? Four scenarios are worth considering, reflecting two key variables—namely, whether the HRA … Continue reading Repealing the Human Rights Act: what might lie ahead?

Theresa May and Chris Grayling on human rights

The knives have been out for the Human Rights Act – and perhaps the UK's involvement in the European Convention on Human Rights itself – at the Conservative Party conference today. Here is an excerpt from the speech made by Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary: European Human Rights laws were written by Conservatives in the … Continue reading Theresa May and Chris Grayling on human rights

Abu Qatada is gone—but the debate is far from over

  Senior Ministers are queuing up today to congratulate not only Andy Murray on his Wimbledon victory, but also the Home Secretary, Theresa May, on yesterday’s deportation of Abu Qatada, or “Public Enemy Number One” as the BBC’s Dominic Casciani has dubbed him. We know now that as well as feeling “physically sick” at the prospect … Continue reading Abu Qatada is gone—but the debate is far from over

The Queen’s Speech, the Immigration Bill and Article 8 ECHR

The Government has made no secret of its determination to make it harder for foreign criminals to resist deportation on the ground that it would infringe their right to private and family life under Article 8 ECHR. It is no surprise, therefore, that this is one of the issues to be tackled in the Immigration … Continue reading The Queen’s Speech, the Immigration Bill and Article 8 ECHR

European Human Rights Law Review article on the Bill of Rights Commission

The latest issue of the European Human Rights Law Review – just published this week – includes an article I have written critiquing the report of the Commission on a Bill of Rights. The following is the abstract of the article, which gives a sense of the line I take in the piece: In its recently-published Report, the Commission on … Continue reading European Human Rights Law Review article on the Bill of Rights Commission

Westminster v Strasbourg: taking the gloves off?

The phoney war between the UK political establishment (or at least significant sections of it) and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has been going on for at least as long as the Human Rights Act 1998 has been in force. But, at least until very recently, that “war” could fairly be characterised as … Continue reading Westminster v Strasbourg: taking the gloves off?