It has been a fascinating year in which to edit this Blog. Political and social challenges – from continued government cuts to the alarming rise of Islamic State – have presented new human rights conundrums that have, as ever, slowly percolated to the doors of the country’s highest courts. And all this during the year of an astonishing General Election result and amid continually shifting sands around the future of the Human Rights Act. Continue reading
And so, thirteen years after his capture, eight years after the US Government cleared him for release, and seven years after President Obama’s spectacularly broken promise to shut down Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer has left the prison, as innocent as the day he went in.
I am are delighted to announce the launch of RightsInfo’s new infographic project:
If you care about spreading accurate information on human rights, then please share the infographic and individual cards as widely as possible.
I’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.
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 Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
“If the Conservatives come back into power it’s revolution time”. These are the words of ex-Court of Appeal judge Sir Antony Hooper at a legal aid protest rally on Thursday, as he called for lawyers to ‘walk-out’ in the event of a Conservative victory. At the same rally another senior judge, Sir Alan Moses, lamented that all political parties are ignoring “the plight of those who [cannot] afford a lawyer” – citing that only the Greens have pledged to reverse the cuts to legal aid.
However, academic Graham Gee warns against using disrespectful rhetoric when analysing the Tory manifesto. He argues people should avoid “creating an impression that [Conservative] proposals are beyond-the-pale and reflective only of short-term, self-interested calculations”.
This week’s Round-up is brought to you by Alex Wessely.
In the news:
Military chiefs have criticised the influence of Human Rights law in a report published this week, arguing that the “need to arrest and detain enemy combatants in a conflict zone should not be expected to comply with peace-time standards”. This follows a series of cases over the years which found the Ministry of Defence liable for human rights violations abroad, culminating in allegations of unlawful killing in the Al-Sweady Inquiry that were judged “wholly without foundation” in December.