The 50 human rights cases that transformed Britain

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Today, I am delighted to launch a major new RightsInsfo infographic, the 50 Human Rights Cases That Transformed Britain.  For the full experience, make sure you access it on a desktop computer.

Since RightsInfo launched two months ago, we have had over 300,000 hits and now have over 10,000 followers across social media. It has already been an amazing journey and we feel that this is the beginning of something very special.

v-9#50cases has been contributed to by top legal academics, writers and human rights experts through crowdsourcing on this blog. Along with our amazing infographic, each of the 50 landmark cases has also been translated  into a plain-English, bitesize story. It is by the most comprehensive study so far as to what human rights have done for Britain.

v-12As the government seeks to reform human rights laws, it is crucial for people to understand what effect human rights have had on our society. This project shows that the European Convention on Human Rights and Human Rights Act have had a profound impact on British society. The #50cases project shows that human rights are not just for terrorists and criminals, but affect all of us.

The RightsInfo volunteer team, Information is Beautiful Studio and I have put a lot of work into this project. Please explore, engage and, most of all, enjoy.

Click here to begin your journey.

The future of public interest litigation?

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 10.37.51These are difficult times for bringing public interest legal cases. The withdrawal of legal aid from many areas has meant that it has become a lot more difficult to fund cases. And the lawyers who are the experts in this kind of litigation are finding it harder and harder to keep practising in the area. 

So bravo to a new initiative, CrowdJustice, a crowdfunding  platform for public interest litigation. For those who don’t know about crowdfunding, it has been a huge success for other kinds of projects through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. CrowdJustice is already fundraising for its first case, Torres v BP and Others, and there is a nice video on the site which has been cross posted by The Guardian.

Crowdfunding isn’t going to replace Legal Aid, nor is it going to become the main or perhaps even a major source of public interest litigation funding. But in cases that interest the public (is that the same as public interest?), it could become a really important resource. In the age of social media, a cleverly pitched campaign can raise a decent amount of money quickly. And wouldn’t it be interesting if someone could figure out a way of building a kind of crowd funded conditional fee agreement, whereby people get back their money or even a share of the damages if the case is successful?

Good for CrowdJustice – go to the site, share, and if you want to, contribute!

Event: Debating the Constitution after the Election

ukcla-manchester-logosI’m delighted to say that I will be giving the keynote address at the UK Constitutional Law Association‘s one-day conference at the University of Manchester on the subject of “Debating the Constitution after the Election”. Topical, eh?

The conference is on Wednesday 24 June. My keynote is entitled: The slow death of the UK Human rights system: Is it just a matter of time or can the UK learn to love human rights? I wrote that before the Election, so perhaps remove “slow”.

Full details and line up here and below. There are two ways to attend the conference:

(1) Be a member of the UKCLA (here’s how) and attend for free by simply e-mailing UKCLACON15@manchester.ac.uk ; OR

(2) Pay the £10 registration fee and register via this EventBrite link.

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Everybody is talking about human rights

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 09.52.52As I am sure will not have escaped you, these are interesting times for human rights. We still await the detailed Conservative proposals for replacing the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights, so it is difficult with any certainty what will happen.

I wanted to gather together a few pieces of commentary and media appearances I have done in the past week, so here they are. We will, of course, be following closely what comes next.

There has been a huge amount more already. Some illuminating pieces (certainly not comprehensive):

Will either major party protect human rights after the Election?

98845b6d-ba86-4e3b-9138-9bff8340a613-620x372“Our aim is a straightforward one”,  New Labour Party told us in October 1997 “[it is] to bring those rights home”. In 2000, the Human Rights Act came into force. For the first time, people in the UK had human rights which could be enforced in UK courts. The right to life, the right not to be tortured, to free speech. What was not to love?

If only it was that simple. 1997 seems a very long time ago. Now, in the final few hours before the 2015 Election, we see the major parties fundamentally divided on human rights.I haven’t written about the Election and human rights yet, mainly because I have been setting up a wonderful new human rights website, rightsinfo.org (more on that later).

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RightsInfo update – Launch film and more

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RightsInfo (www.rightsinfo.org) has just had its first full week and I wanted to update you on how things are going. 

Have you seen our brand new launch film, This is RightsInfo? It has just been released, and we love it – it explains what RightsInfo is about and how we are going to change the way we communicate about human rights. If you were at the launch party, you may even spot yourself on the film.

What week it has been. We launched seven days ago.  The party at the Free Word Centre was packed out. After seven days we have already had over 40,000 page views on the site. The reaction has been amazing – you can read a sample it in this post: “Wow… just wow”, People Really Like RightsInfo And That Makes Us Very Happy.

If you want to follow RightsInfo, you can sign up to free daily or weekly email updates here. We are also on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

RightsInfo is here! Human Rights Information to Share

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 12.16.46I am  delighted to announce the launch of my new human rights initiative, RightsInfo. The site has just gone live at www.rightsinfo.org. Visit, share, subscribe by email and enjoy!

RightsInfo will use social media to improve public understanding of human rights. Our brilliant new website provides clear, reliable and beautiful human rights information to share.

I have been working closely with a large team of volunteers and the amazing Information is Beautiful Studios to build a space which looks and feels like nothing that has come before it. Here are some of RightsInfo’s great features:

I really hope you enjoy the site, which will tie in closely with the work we will continue to do at the UK Human Rights Blog.