David Cameron promises a “British Bill of Rights”. And what, exactly, does that mean?

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?

The astonishingly low standard of Human Rights Act bashing

Last week, I came across — and briefly joined in — an astonishing exchange on Twitter concerning repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998. It was prompted by a report that former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve anticipates that, in his Conservative Party conference speech this week, David Cameron will announce plans to dilute the UK's commitment to … Continue reading The astonishingly low standard of Human Rights Act bashing

ECHR withdrawal and a British Bill of Rights: some resources

There have been a number of recent blog posts in recent days considering different aspects of the possibility of UK withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights — a hare that was set running by media reports that the Conservative Party might be contemplating something along these lines. Here is a list of the ones I … Continue reading ECHR withdrawal and a British Bill of Rights: some resources

Human rights reform and the role of the Strasbourg Court

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

A hardening of Conservative human rights policy: what are the options?

I noted earlier this week that the dismissal of Dominic Grieve as Attorney-General was likely to foreshadow a significant hardening of the Conservative Party’s stance in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights. Today, the BBC is reporting—following Grieve’s removal, the departure of arch-Europhile Kenneth Clark and William Hague’s move from the Foreign Office—that: … Continue reading A hardening of Conservative human rights policy: what are the options?

Why Dominic Grieve’s departure from the Government might hasten the UK’s withdrawal from the ECHR

Dominic Grieve, who has served as Attorney-General since the 2010 general election, and who was a strong supporter of the UK’s ongoing membership of the European Convention on Human Rights, has left the Government. He is replaced by Jeremy Wright, previously Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation in the Ministry of Justice. Calling the significance of … Continue reading Why Dominic Grieve’s departure from the Government might hasten the UK’s withdrawal from the ECHR

The right to die: deference, dialogue and the division of constitutional authority

The UK Supreme Court’s decision in R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice [2014] UKSC 38 is one of the most constitutionally significant and interesting judgments that has been given under the Human Rights Act 1998 in recent years. The case is also of potentially great social importance, given the nature of changes to the law … Continue reading The right to die: deference, dialogue and the division of constitutional authority

Labour’s plans for the Human Rights Act

In a recent article in The Telegraph, the Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan sketches the human-rights policy with which it seems Labour will go into the 2015 election campaign. The article is supportive both of the UK's membership of the European Convention on Human Rights and of the Human Rights Act 1998. Within the current political climate, … Continue reading Labour’s plans for the Human Rights Act

The Immigration Act 2014: A sequel to the prisoner-voting saga?  

Section 19 of the Immigration Act 2014 raises some important constitutional questions about the respective roles of courts and legislators in relation to human-rights matters. When it enters into force, section 19 of the 2014 Act will insert a suite of new provisions into the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 concerning the way in which courts and tribunals deal with … Continue reading The Immigration Act 2014: A sequel to the prisoner-voting saga?  

Whole life tariffs: Court of Appeal differs from, but does not defy, Strasbourg

The Court of Appeal has just given judgment in Attorney-General's Reference No 69 of 2013 [2014] EWCA Crim 188. It has held that the whole-life-tariff regime laid down in UK primary legislation is compatible with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In doing so, the Court of Appeal differs from the view set … Continue reading Whole life tariffs: Court of Appeal differs from, but does not defy, Strasbourg