Happy 60th birthday, European Convention on Human Rights

4 November 2010 by

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights on 4 November 1950. This comes hot on the heels of the tenth birthday of the Human Rights Act, which we celebrated on October 2nd.

The European Convention on Human Rights, which came into force on 3 September 1953, guarantees a range of political rights and freedoms of the individual against interference by the State. Before the incorporation of the Convention, individuals in the United Kingdom could only complain of unlawful interference with their Convention rights by lodging a petition with the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg. That all changed on 2 October 2000 when the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force, allowing UK citizens to sue public bodies for breaches of their Convention rights in domestic courts.

The European Court of Human Rights has set up a commemorative website which includes:

If you want to celebrate in person rather than online, the Human Rights Lawyers Association, together with the Slynn Foundation, are holding a commemorative dinner on Friday 19th November 2010 at Gray’s Inn, London. The Minister for Human Rights, Lord McNally, and President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, are Guests of Honour. Further information – including ticket details – can be found here.

If you wish to contemplate the anniversary in quiet solitude, this week the Guardian has been asking whether human rights exist. This has been answered in two essays so far, by Steve Crawshaw, international advocacy director at Amnesty International, who argues they do exist and are in fact growing, and Andrew Brown, editor of Comment is Free belief section, who argues that there is no evidence of their existence and that it is dangerous to teach them to children instead of religion.

On that note, if you are interested in this question from a practical perspective, Samuel Moyn, a professor at Columbia University, has written a fascinating new book: The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. I have referred to this in a previous post reviewing the introduction of the book, published as an essay in The Nation magazine.

As lawyers, we at the UK Human Rights Blog (gratefully) aim to steer clear of abstract philosophising on rights. Human rights clearly exist in the UK and are argued about in courts every day, thanks in no small part to the 60-year evolution of the European Convention from an idealistic post-war statement of principle to a practical and well honed legal instrument. Happy birthday!

Sign up to free human rights updates by email, Facebook, Twitter or RSS

Read more

Welcome to the UKHRB


This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe

Categories


Disclaimer


This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.

Tags


Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Al Qaeda animal rights anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
%d bloggers like this: