I briefly wrote yesterday about John Finnis' recent lecture on judicial power. Although Finnis examines his topic through a lens that takes in far more than simply questions about human-rights protection, some of his fire is trained upon the European Convention on Human Rights and what it requires, or has been understood to require, courts… Continue reading Philippe Sands’ Elson Lecture: Britain, Europe and Human Rights
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?
This post is the last in a series of six updates for the 2015-16 academic year. The posts in this series are co-written by Mark Elliott and Robert Thomas, the authors of Public Law, published by Oxford University Press. Further information about Public Law can be found here. Our focus in these updates is on six key areas in which the constitution is undergoing, or… Continue reading Public Law Update #6: A British Bill of Rights?
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
I wrote in April about the launch of RightsInfo, a new initiative from Adam Wagner, the founding editor of the UK Human Rights Blog. Following a crowdsourcing project (to which I contributed), RightsInfo has now published its full set of "50 human-rights cases that transformed Britain", accompanied by a fantastic infographic that enables readers to… Continue reading RightsInfo: 50 human-rights cases that transformed Britain
I have made a short video for the Cambridge Faculty of Law's Law in Focus series concerning the proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and enact a British Bill of Rights. The video can be accessed here or viewed below. In my talk, I address three key questions raised by these proposals. First, what lies behind the… Continue reading Human Rights in the United Kingdom: Where Now?
In my last post on the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the enactment of a British Bill of Rights, I considered the extent to which the House of Lords might thwart the Government's plans. My conclusion was that the Lords might plausibly assert itself so as to delay the legislation, traditional understandings… Continue reading Could the Devolved Nations Block Repeal of the Human Rights Act and the Enactment of a New Bill of Rights?
It is clear that repealing the Human Rights Act and enacting a British Bill of Rights will be far from straightforward. One potential complicating factor is the House of Lords, which is unlikely to meet these proposals with equanimity. What role, then, might the House of Lords play in this area? To what extent may… Continue reading Replacing the Human Rights Act: The House of Lords, the Parliament Acts and the Salisbury Convention
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?
Reasonable people can and do differ about the extent to which human rights should be protected by courts, and the extent to which questions about rights are ultimately issues of policy that should be reserved to democratic, political institutions such as Parliament. (However much one might disagree with him, Lord Sumption JSC — who has expressed… Continue reading RightsInfo — Facilitating Reasoned Debate about Human Rights