UKHRB event: The Future of Human Rights – 21 May 2014

Freedman-Failing-to-Protect-webI am delighted to announce that the UK Human Rights Blog in association with Hurst Publishers and Berwin Leighton Paisner are organising a fascinating panel debate, chaired by me, on Wed 21 May 2014. The panel is stellar.

It is a free event but places are strictly limited so you have to register here if you want to secure your place.

‘The Future of Human Rights’ on the occasion of the publication of Failing to Protect: the UN and the Politicisation of Human Rights by Dr Rosa Freedman
Date: Wednesday 21 May 2014
Time: 6.30pm for 7.00pm
Location: The Auditorium, Adelaide House, London Bridge, London EC4R 9HA (map)
Hurst Publishers, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and the UK Human Rights Blog are delighted to invite you to a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Human Rights’ on the occasion of the publication of Failing to Protect: the UN and the Politicisation of Human Rights by Dr Rosa Freedman.Chair

  • Adam Wagner – Barrister, 1 Crown Office Row and editor of the UK Human Rights Blog

Panel

  • Philippe Sands - Professor of International Law, University College London
  • Jane Connors – Chief of Special Procedures Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Marc Limon – Executive Director, Universal Rights Group
  • Professor Fiona de Londras, Durham University

Drinks will be served before and after the debate.

Please let us know if you will be attending the panel discussion by clicking here.

UK Human Rights Blog 2013 in review

Happy new year UKHRBWhat a year! As the UK Human Rights Blog approaches 2,000 posts and three million hits since its launch in March 2010, below is a link to a summary of the year in stats. No great surprises as to the most popular posts, which track the most controversial issues in human rights.

The main thing to report is that the blog remains extremely popular, with almost 1.2 million hits in 2013 alone, as well as tens of thousands of regular readers and subscribers. Thank you to the contribution of all of our bloggers, both from 1 Crown Office Row (particularly the indefatigable Rosalind English and David Hart QC) and elsewhere, to our wonderful rounder uppers (Daniel Isenberg, Sarina Kidd and Celia Rooney) and to our fantastic commenters who keep us on our toes all over social media.

This year has been the toughest yet for me in keeping the blog ticking along at the pace you are all used to (I have another full time job – being a barrister), but thankfully I have just about managed it. Unfortunately, this has meant I haven’t been able to post as much as I like but I continue to be very proud of the blog’s achievements and influence.

In light of the Conservative Party’s impending plans for human rights reform (which, as was pointed out by Neil Crowther on Twitter, looked to be tracking Dominic Raab’s 2010 blueprint and 2012 bill pretty closely), 2014 is likely to be another interesting year. As always, thanks to our still rather shiny Human Rights Act, there will be plenty of fascinating decisions from our courts too.

All the best and happy new year to all.

Click here to see the complete end of year report.

Pupillage inside out

Pupillage Inside OutWith no apologies, I would like shamelessly to promote my chambers colleague Isabel McArdle and Daniel K. Sokol of 12 KBW’s splendid new pupillage guide, Pupillage Inside OutAt £14.95 it is a steal – order now here (wig not included).

Isabel is a regular contributor to UKHRB and Daniel has contributed a number of times in the past. Below are some more details, including how you can get on the guest list for the glamorous* launch party:

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New European Sanctions blog

Euro SanctionsIt is always a pleasure to welcome a new legal blog, especially one with subject matter which is relevant to readers of the UKHRB. May I introduce you to the European Sanctions Blog, written by Brick Court’s Maya Lester and Michael O’Kane of Peters & Peters. The blog is also on Twitter as @eusanctions

Sanctions imposed by European bodies on individuals, businesses and states are certainly topics which we have covered on this blog, for example the important recent rulings over EU sanctions on Iranian banks. A few interesting early posts over at EU Sanctions cover sanctions on Syria and Iran, terrorist asset freezing and most recently the extraordinary goings on at the Supreme Court this week in a case about an Iranian bank, Bank Mellat, which I also covered here.

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UK Human Rights Blog surpasses two million hits

Champagne ExplosionJust a quick note to say that yesterday, in the furore surrounding the Conservative Party potentially threatening to take the UK out of the European Court of Human Rights and Angela Patrick’s post on secret trials, the UK Human Rights Blog surpassed an all-time total of two million hits. 

The blog was launched on 31 March 2010 and is written by members of 1 Crown Office Row barristers’ Chambers. It is now attracting around 100,000 page views per month and has thousands of subscribers across email, Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe for free by email, Twitter or Facebook – more details here.

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Another cracking year for the UK Human Rights Blog

Champagne ExplosionHello all, and happy holidays! 2012 has been a cracking year for the UK Human Rights Blog. As is customary, below are the top 2012 posts by hit count, but also a few of my own highlights of 2012:

  • After just over two and a half years in operation the blog is now achieving our aim (we hope) of informing and enhancing the human rights debate, which is no less controversial and caricatured than it was in March 2010.
  • The weekly Human Rights Roundups have become one of the most popular features of the blog, thanks to our fantastic updaters Daniel Isenberg, Sam Murrant and Wessen Jazrawi who moved on to other things in 2012.
  • In our third year we smashed one million hits and are already getting close to two million. We are regularly quoted across the media and for the first time this year, in the Northern Ireland Assembly. We are now getting close to 100,000 hits per month and are consistently ranked as the top legal blog on the ‘e-buzzing’ influence rankings.
  • We have over 4,000 email subscribers (just enter your email address in the box to the right to subscribe for free), over 2,000 on our Facebook fan page and 2,000+ on our @ukhumanrightsb Twitter account. You can also follow me on @adamwagner1 and my fantastic co-editors Angus McCullough QC on @amccqc and Rosalind English on @rosalindenglish.
  • Thank you to all of the fantastic contributors from 1 Crown Office Row (the barristers’ chambers which runs the blog)  as well as guest contributors from elsewhere, who have contributed to almost 1,500 individual posts. I have taken more of a back seat editorial role this year so as to get on with my day job (I am a practising barrister, honest – you can read about me here), an arrangement which has strengthened the blog.
  • Thank you also to all of those who have commented on individual posts both on the blog and on Twitter, which has been particularly vibrant in legal debates this year. Some of those debates have been fantastic and they add immeasurably to the content on the blog. As always, we welcome comments on any aspect of the blog, including the refreshed design which you may have noticed in the past few days. Thank you also to the growing army of fantastic legal bloggers (see our links section on the sidebar) who regularly link to the blog in their own post.
  • One final reminder: all of our blog posts are categorised by legal topic and article of the European Convention on Human Rights: you can access the categories by way of the drop down menu on the right sidebar (for example family law, technology, Article 8 etc) as well as by clicking categories under individual posts. Our index of European Convention Rights is here.

Without further ado, here are the top twenty posts of 2012:

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VIDEO: Dignity, Death and Deprivation of Liberty – Human Rights in the Court of Protection

Last month 1 Crown Office Row hosted a fascinating panel debate on the Court of Protection and the incredibly difficult issues surrounding assisted dying.  The panel included Philip Havers QC, the philosopher A.C. Grayling and Leigh Day & Co.’s  human rights partner Richard Stein. You can now view the video here or below. Also see here for Rosalind English’s report of the event.

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New feature: Upcoming human rights events

Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that I have added an ‘Upcoming Events’ list to the right sidebar, underneath the ‘Recommended’ and ‘Case Law’ links. 

If you would like events added to this list, email me. Please only send events which (i) have their own webpage which can be linked to, and (ii) are relevant to topics covered by the blog. This is (as with everything on the blog) a free service. There are currently two exciting events featured, an audience with Mr Justice Rabinder Singh at the LSE and a JUSTICE event about online law.

Whilst I am here, if you didn’t already know, the ‘Recommended’ list of links are all links to external sources which I update a few times daily with up-to-the minute human rights news. These links, which can also all be found here (I use a service called Delicious – there have been over 3,000 since the blog launched), are then fed magically into the weekly Human Rights Roundup. The upcoming events list will now be included in the weekly update too.

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Are Facebook and Twitter making criminals of us all? – Free panel debate, Wed 17 Oct

Update – only 29 places left (2:10pm)

For anyone interested in the issues I raised in my post yesterday about a man given twelve weeks in prison for making sick jokes on Facebook, I am chairing a Question Time-style panel debate next Wednesday 17 October 2012, 6-7:30pm, organised by the Human Rights Lawyers Association and Article 19, the free speech charity. Article 19 are hosting the event at their offices in Farringdon.

The panel is excellent, including Tamsin Allen (head of Media and Information Law at Bindmans solicitors), John Cooper QC (amongst many other things, counsel for Paul Chambers in the Twitter joke trial) and Gabrielle Guillemin (legal officer at Article 19). The event is free and open to all, but space is limited so if you would like to come, please email administrator@hrla.org.uk.

Full details below or in a prettier version, here:

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Dignity, Death and Deprivation of Liberty: Human Rights in the Court of Protection

What: Dignity, Death and Deprivation of Liberty: Human Rights in the Court of Protection 

When: 6pm on Wednesday 10th October 2012 

You are invited to join 1 Crown Office Row for an event to mark the 5th Anniversary of the Court of Protection.  This Seminar will focus on current key topics in the Court of Protection being debated by two teams of Counsel from 1 Crown Office Row before an interventionist Panel comprising Philip Havers QC, Professor Anthony Grayling and Richard Stein, solicitor at Leigh Day & Co solicitors.

There are still a few places remaining to attend this event. If you are currently a legal practitioner and would like to attend please contact Charlotte Barrow, Marketing Executive at One Crown Office Row on charlotte.barrow@1cor.com stating your name and organisation. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Two new legal blogs

Two welcome additions to the legal blogosophere have just launched, both of which will be of interest to readers of this blog.

RightsNI (Twitter: @RightsNI) is a great looking human rights blog from Northern Ireland. It joins another fantastic blog from across the Irish Sea, the Human Rights in Ireland Blog. Rights NI already has a wide range of contributors including academics and human rights NGO workers. Recent posts include:

A little closer to home for the UK Human Rights Blog is EUtopia Law (Twitter: @Eutopialaw), produced by members of Matrix barristers’ chambers who also produce the fantastic UK Supreme Court Blog. The first and so far only post (fair enough; they launched yesterday) is something we have certainly touched upon on this blog:

UK Human Rights Blog reaches half a million hits

According to our statometer, the UK Human Rights Blog by 1 Crown Office Row chambers has just surpassed 500,000 hits. 

This is a bit of a landmark for a site which launched at the end of March 2010. We had hoped that the blog would be useful for lawyers and the general public, and that it would in part compensate for some of the mischievous and misrepresentative reporting of human rights law. But we never expected it to take off in the way that it has.

It is a happy coincidence that we have reached this landmark in a week which has seen the two most important courts for UK human rights – the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights – both releasing pairs of landmark judgments in Al Rawi / Tariqon the use of secret evidence in civil proceedings, and Al-Skeini / Al-Jedda, on where in the world the European Convention applies.

We now have 1,558 subscribers by email (you too can subscribe for free), 1,065 on Facebook, and 2,991 via my account on Twitter. We also have recently updated our introduction to the European Convention on Human Rights and introduced a human rights case table. As always, your comments are gratefully received.

This is our 853rd post. In the tradition of such posts, here are our top 20 all time greatest hits:

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Announcing the UK Human Rights Blog Case Table

Today marks the launch of the UK Human Rights Blog Case Table. It includes links to all of the cases featured on the blog since October 2010, as well as many more we haven’t had the chance to cover.

The table, which can be found here, was created and is maintained by Hannah Manson, a law student and committee member of the Human Rights Lawyers Association. We are extremely grateful for the work she has put in to this. The table will be updated regularly; for a list of new human rights cases updated daily, click here.

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That was the future of legal blogging

Last night, 35 legal bloggers, tweeters and journalists descended on 1 Crown Office Row chambers to debate the future of legal blogging. Twitter was abuzz with the event, and you can read the tweets even if you are not signed up to a Twitter account.

The panel was made up legal bloggers David Allen Green (Jack of KentNew Statesman), Carl Gardner (Head of Legal) and Adam Wagner (UK Human Rights Blog), and was chaired by Catrin Griffiths, editor of The Lawyer.

The event was a great success. I will write about it in more detail soon, as I hope will others. The one and a half hour discussion was always interesting and animated, and continued in earnest over drinks and substantial nibbles afterwards. There was also a complete reversal of the usual protocol that mobile phones should be turned off, and many people tweeted from the event. One of our editors even made a successful eBay bid.

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