Friday, 15 May 2015

Human Rights ~ some weekend reading

Update: Addendum - Monday 18th May

The week since the General Election (previous post) has seen a massive amount of comment about the government's intentions to "scrap" the Human Rights Act 1998.  None of the detailed plans have yet emerged from within government and so we really only have the Conservative Party manifesto (see this post) to inform us as well as their announcement last October (discussed at length here).

Most of the comment during the week has favoured retention of the present system of human rights protection for all the peoples of the United Kingdom.  It has mostly been reasoned and responsible comment from many respected legal commentators. 
So far, I have seen little in support of the government's position though here is a televised debate in October 2014 between Dominic Raab MP (now a member of the Ministry of Justice Ministerial team) and Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty.  According to Mr Raab's blog, he has been allocated the human rights agenda and is looking forward to 'getting stuck in.'

Also, a lot of comment has been about the particular concerns within Scotland and Northern Ireland

Here is a collection of some of the comment.  The pros and cons of this will be debated for some time to come.

Legal commentators:

Lord Bingham (former Lord Chief Justice and Senior Law Lord) on Human Rights - Lord Bingham's Six points about human rights law

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission - About Human Rights

Jack of Kent blog 15th May - Seven hurdles for repeal of the Human Rights Act - here is a post containing numerous links to other material

Spinninghugo 15th May  - Four bad arguments (and one good one) for the Human Rights Act - the case for the Convention is not as easy and obvious as its supporters sometimes believe ....

UK Constitutional Law Association 15th May - HRA Watch: Reform, Repeal, Replace?  Tobias Lock: Legal implications of human rights reform in the UK

Rightsinfo 15th May - The election result means big changes are coming for human rights

Philippe Sands QC - The Guardian - British Bill of Rights could end the UK

Journal Online 14th May - New Deal: Same fundamentals  - Human Rights debate is not just about Europe

Professor Christine Bell 13th May - Human Rights Act repeal and devolution: Quick points and further resources on Scotland and Northern Ireland 

Keir Starmer - 13th May - The arguments against the Human Rights Act are coming.  They will all be false.

Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum 13th May - The 2015 General Election at Holyrood - a word on Sewel

Dr Mark Elliot 12th May - Public Law for Everyone - Could the devolved nations block repeal of the Human Rights Act and the enactment of a new Bill of Rights

Jack of Kent 11th May - Round up: 5 posts on the constitutional problems with Human Rights Act repeal 

Lallands Peat Worrier blog - 10th May 2015 - Scotland and Human Rights Act abolition

Law and Lawyers Posts:

Human Rights - Battle lines are forming

Our fundamental rights on the brink


The Guardian 14th May - British Bill of Rights could end the UK

The Independent 13th May - Government plan to scrap the Human Rights Act is just a confidence trick

Irish Times 14th May - Government concern about UK plan to scrap Human Rights Act

Older material:

Counsel Magazine January 2015 - Keir Starmer QC - The case for the Human Rights Act

Head of Legal blog 9th October 2014 - Martin Howe QC - Tories will pull out of the ECHR unless Strasbourg okays our plan

Human Rights - The Conservative Party proposals - 6th October 2014

Commission on a Bill of Rights Report and, UK Human Rights blog - What lies beneath the Commission on a Bill of Rights Report

UK Constitutional Law blog - December 2012 - The Commission on a Bill of Rights Report

Addendum Monday 18th May:

Law Society Gazette - Joshua Rozenberg - Cabinet Post like no other

British Institute of Human Rights - Human Rights Act and Bill of Rights

Infform Blog - Hugh Tomlinson QC - Will the tort of misuse of private information disappear if the human rights act is repealed - and see Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2015] EWCA Civ 311

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