The new Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, gave evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee earlier this week. She was questioned on a range of matters, including the Government’s long-awaited proposals for replacing the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights. Truss’s answers to the Committee’s questions on this … Continue reading The new Justice Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, on a British Bill of Rights
This year’s Queen’s Speech touches on two possible constitutional reform measures. (I pass over the Wales Bill, which was published in draft in October 2015.) The first concerns the replacement of the Human Rights Act 1998 with a “British Bill of Rights”, while second concerns the sovereignty of Parliament and the "primacy" of the House … Continue reading The 2016 Queen’s Speech and the Constitution
The Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, gave evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee earlier today. In this brief post, I pick up on just one of the issues raised by his evidence, namely the notion that the UK Supreme Court might be made, by a British Bill of Rights, into what … Continue reading The UK Supreme Court as a constitutional ‘longstop’: Michael Gove’s evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee
RightsInfo, which is setting a very high bar indeed in terms of the visual explanation of human-rights-related issues, has just launched an excellent two-minute animation on human-rights basics. If you want to know what human rights are and are looking for an accessible way in, it's a great starting-point. Of course, the points made in the … Continue reading RightsInfo: What are Human Rights?
I am giving a Current Legal Problems lecture at the UCL Faculty of Laws later this week. The lecture is entitled: "A post-European British constitution: Plus ça change?" The following is the opening section of the lecture; it gives a taste of the themes I plan to explore and the arguments I propose to make. Public lawyers are used to living … Continue reading A Post-European British constitution: Plus ça change?
The recently sacked Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve, gave a powerful and thoughtful lecture last night at UCL, entitled "Why Human Rights should matter to Conservatives". The lecture is worth reading in full, and I will not attempt to summarise it here. However, the following passages — which form part of a trenchant critique of the Conservative Party's … Continue reading Dominic Grieve on the Conservative Party’s human-rights proposals
I wrote earlier this week about David Cameron’s announcement at the Conservative Party conference that a future Tory government would repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. Cameron gave very little away in his speech, but more detailed proposals — although not yet a draft Bill — … Continue reading My analysis of the Conservative Party’s proposals for a British Bill of Rights
In his speech to the Conservative Party conference today, David Cameron spoke — albeit in very general terms — about human-rights reform. Here is the entirely of what he said on this subject: Of course, it’s not just the European Union that needs sorting out – it’s the European Court of Human Rights. When that … Continue reading David Cameron promises a “British Bill of Rights”. And what, exactly, does that mean?
I wrote last week about the dismissal of Dominic Grieve as Attorney-General and subsequent indications as to the likely direction of Conservative Party policy in relation to human rights. As noted in the latter post, the plan—such as it is at present—appears to countenance the possibility of the UK’s departure from the European Convention on … Continue reading Human rights reform and the role of the Strasbourg Court
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