What does a Conservative government mean for the future of human rights in the UK?

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?

RightsInfo — Facilitating Reasoned Debate about Human Rights

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

Are the Conservatives still contemplating withdrawal from the ECHR?

I wrote a few days ago about the treatment of human-rights policy in the Conservative Party's 2015 election manifesto. In that post I noted that there was no mention of the radical plans set out in a paper published by the Party in late 2014. It envisaged radical changes in the relationship between the UK and the … Continue reading Are the Conservatives still contemplating withdrawal from the ECHR?

Human Rights and the Conservatives’ Manifesto: Four Comments

The Conservative Party published its manifesto earlier today. It contains two principal statements about human rights law. Page 60 includes the following passage: We have stopped prisoners from having the vote, and have deported suspected terrorists such as Abu Qatada, despite all the problems created by Labour’s human rights laws. The next Conservative Government will scrap … Continue reading Human Rights and the Conservatives’ Manifesto: Four Comments

A Post-European British constitution: Plus ça change?

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?

#50cases — Three suggestions

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 humanrightsinformationproject@gmail.com by 5.00 pm on Friday 27 February … Continue reading #50cases — Three suggestions

David Davies MP on the Paris shootings and the Human Rights Act: a short response

David Davies MP (not to be confused with David Davis MP) has called for the repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 in the light of the murder in Paris yesterday of 12 members of staff at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. In an article on his website entitled "Paris attacks show need to scrap … Continue reading David Davies MP on the Paris shootings and the Human Rights Act: a short response

Moohan: Prisoner voting, the independence referendum and the common law

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

Dominic Grieve on the Conservative Party’s human-rights proposals

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

Beyond Sark: The implications of the Barclay case

Although at one level astonishingly complex, the issues at stake in R (Barclay) v Secretary of State for Justice (No 2) [2014] UKSC 54 (press summary) (judgment) can be stated relatively simply for the purpose of seeking to understand its broader significance. Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights requires, among other things, judicial … Continue reading Beyond Sark: The implications of the Barclay case