I recently completed a paper, to be published in a forthcoming edited collection, on 'The Fundamentality of Rights at Common Law'. The concern of the paper is with the senses in, and the extent to, which common law constitutional rights can properly be regarded as fundamental. In the context of the United Kingdom’s constitution, that … Continue reading The Fundamentality of Rights at Common Law
The Unison case is an important victory for workers who wish to enforce their rights in Employment Tribunals. But the Supreme Court's judgment also implicates some key principles of UK constitutional law — and raises a question about how far courts can go in upholding such principles.
The new Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove, gave evidence for the first time today to the House of Commons Justice Committee. We learned a little, but not a great deal, about the Government’s current thinking in relation to the replacement of the Human Rights Act 1998 with a British Bill of Rights. However, … Continue reading Michael Gove, the Justice Committee and the Human Rights Act
It seems that the Conservative Party is on its way to forming an expectation-defying single-party government — which makes its plans for human-rights reform suddenly more relevant than they seemed a couple of days ago. What is clear — it is explicitly stated in the manifesto — is that the Conservative Party wishes to see … Continue reading What does a Conservative government mean for the future of human rights in the UK?
I gave a Current Legal Problems lecture in March concerning the relationship between common-law constitutional rights and the system of rights protection that obtains under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. I have now finished work on the article version of the lecture. The full text of the article … Continue reading Beyond the European Convention: Human Rights and the Common Law
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?
Lady Hale gave the 2015 Bryce Lecture earlier this month, taking "The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom Constitution" as her title. The lecture does not break any new ground, but is a helpful overview of a range of issues concerning the constitutional authority of the courts vis-a-vis the other branches of government, with particular reference … Continue reading Lady Hale’s 2015 Bryce Lecture: The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom Constitution
Adam Wagner, editor of the excellent UK Human Rights Blog, is in the process of launching a new Human Rights Information Project, as part of which he is crowdsourcing "50 human rights cases absolutely everyone needs to know about". Adam has asked for suggestions to be sent to email@example.com by 5.00 pm on Friday 27 February … Continue reading #50cases — Three suggestions
I have been thinking a good deal recently — partly because I will soon be giving a Current Legal Problems lecture on the topic — about the relationship between common-law constitutional rights and rights enshrined in the ECHR and given domestic effect by the Human Rights Act 1998. A stream of recent Supreme Court decisions … Continue reading Moohan: Prisoner voting, the independence referendum and the common law
A brief post to draw attention to Lord Reed’s recent Sir Thomas More Lecture entitled “EU Law and the Supreme Court”. Lord Reed devotes part of the lecture to a discussion of the Supreme Court’s decision in R (HS2 Action Alliance Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport  UKSC 3,  1 WLR 324. … Continue reading Lord Reed on EU law and the UK constitution