Obsession with World War II distorts understanding of human rights

4 August 2012 by

A fascinating article by SOAS EU law specialist  Dr Gunner Beck lays bare some of the important problems created by British hostility to Germany, which, by contrast to the profound social and economic changes that have taken place in both countries in the seven decades since WWII, appears “timeless and unchanging.”

In a wide ranging analysis of the abiding obsession with Nazi Germany in the British media and elsewhere, as well as the “strange sado-masochism” of Germany itself, Gunner Beck demonstrates how effectively this prejudice creates and fosters confusion about the current crisis in the Eurozone and the reaction of some of its members to German demands for closer scrutiny. He asks us to question why German history

is still largely reduced to the twelve years from 1933 to 1945, and why it still seems impossible in Britain to criticise any aspect of German economic or foreign policy, especially on EU matters, without some kind of Nazi connotation or similar historical insinuation lurking somewhere in the background… Why has nearly a lifetime of peaceful and liberal-democratic development in Germany done so little to put the Third Reich into some kind of historical perspective?

He then turns to the oft-cited mantra of human rights law, that it is somehow above modification or criticism because it addresses collective guilt about the war and Germany’s unparalleled wrongs. It may be recalled that the Daily Mail article explaining the reason for the resignation of political scientist Michael Pinto-Duschinsky from the Bill of Rights Commission was entitled ” I escaped the Nazis – so spare me these sneers about tyranny.” He was much criticised for arrogating a special understanding to himself by virtue of being part of a family that escaped the Holocaust (see Adam Wagner’s post). But there is a deeper truth about the Duschinsky objections to the Commission’s attitude: that there is a tendency to denounce anyone who criticises modern human rights legislation as, in Beck’s words, a “crypto-Nazi, a racist, and a divisive and dangerous right-winger”. This is not a healthy way to go about debating the subject, which touches on some of society’s most pressing issues, such as the financial implications and social consequences of the mass influx of refugees and illegal non-EU immigrants into Western and Central Europe. Indeed, in Beck’s view, it is a delusion that makes it effectively impossible to initiate a dispassionate discussion about the consequences of immigration for the survival of the welfare state in any large European state:

in a world where practically no one ever agrees on anything except on the facts that excessive bank bonus payments are inevitable, yet also that the financial markets cannot be regulated and that the end of the welfare state is inevitable, where very few shared ethical assumptions exist, everyone can nevertheless still agree that, whatever the disagreements between them, nothing can ever be as bad as what the Germans – a term all too readily used in place of the Nazis – did during World War II. It is a kind of minimal ethical commitment everyone can safely concur with, and one that costs very little indeed.

Beck concludes that the “whole machinery of human rights movement”  has lost perspective. Whilst the courts have gone about an unimpeded extension of the meaning and scope of many human rights, “unhelpful references to the past” shut down any rational discussion of the interpretation now attached to many rights.

For instance, the talk about the need to prevent another Third Reich, genocide or wars, bears little or no meaningful relationship with issues such as whether the right to privacy should extend to abortion or whether there should exist a right to family reunion and fertility treatment, both key issues in current human rights law, both in Europe and the US.

This challenge to our “pathological obsession” with Germany’s historical pathologies will no doubt attract strong criticism. But the author’s call for an honest examination of the infantilising effect of this prejudice on rational debate and policy-making deserves serious attention, which we ignore at our peril:

In the end, China which has so shrewdly refused to do what Germany seems so eager to do, namely to bail out the eurozone, will mop up what remains in Europe on ebay, and it is unlikely that it will make subtle distinctions between things German and British. We shall all be equal then.

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

Related reading:


  1. John D says:

    I have read – and left a fairly long comment underneath – Dr Beck’s original article (hyperlink above). Like the commentators before me, I do not believe that Dr Beck has produced any worthwhile evidence to support his various claims. What I will say, though, is that there seems to be an unhealthy focus on German history between the 1920s and 1940s which largely concentrates on the rise, rule and fall of Nazi ideology and power not on the part of the UK public or media but on the part of UK examination boards. Quite why this is is hard to explain, though it is clearly ervident that it serves the Zionist project well. Perhaps it is time that the UK examanition boards and the Department of Education insisted on exam boards changing the curricula focus of study to Germany after 1945? It is time we put WWII behind us as forming part of the explanation of the modern world we all occupy now.

  2. EC says:

    The original article by Dr Beck typifies the worst of modern lazy scholarship, by importing tired tools of literary criticism into unrelated contexts. His idea that the media write about the Germans as Nazis as ‘The Other’, so allowing the creation amongst those who denounce them of a group identity, is an extremely simple point indeed, which could have been put much more succinctly. Further, his writing betrays an open and depressing ignorance of history, in very many points. Here are a few.

    He complains about discussions of human rights conventions occasionally referring to Nazism. Perhaps an historical appreciation of the drafting of the declarations on human rights would have made it clear to him that the background of Nazism was central to their very creation. If the timing of the drafting, in the immediate post-war, wasn’t obvious enough, there is the clear reference in the opening of the preamble to the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which reads; “Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind…” Of course Human Rights discussions sometimes refer to Nazism; the international conventions were drafted as a direct response to the Nazis. It’s foolish to pretend that they are not related.

    Then again, he complains that the words Germans and Nazis are used interchangeably when referring to the Third Reich. It’s very difficult to see how that objection is rationally sustained. The worst human rights abuses were perpetrated in the implementation of the Third Reich’s racial policies. It’s an uncomfortable truth that, despite the best efforts of revisionist historians to blur the issue, there was no popular, effective, protest against Nazi rule or policy, even in the closing days of the War. The Third Reich aimed to unify the German peoples into one state, at which task they effectively succeeded for the duration of the War. Not all totalitarian regimes of the time followed quite the same policies or commit the same abuses. For example, the Italians did not, nor did Franco’s Spain, although neither regime was to be admired in any respect. The German allies, the Japanese, certainly committed comparable atrocities, particularly in the Chinese theatre. The Germans’ central opponent, Stalin’s Russia, meanwhile, perpetrated if anything worse abuses than the Germans themselves, though Stalin’s behaviour was motivated less by the communist ideology and more by his own paranoia and sheer depravity. All that said, it is very difficult to see what Dr Beck’s linguistic complaint actually is; the actions of the Nazis were the actions of the German state and the German people. Worse, airbrushing the uncomfortable truth that the ‘Nazis’ were actually real flesh-and-blood people, not pantomime villains imported from the ether, is a dangerous act. The human rights conventions were drafted in response to the shocking reality that a cultured, sophisticated people could indulge in such barbarity as the Germans had done. To forget that the Nazis were the civilised, respected Germans is not only counter-historical and ignorant, but defeats the whole point of human rights conventions; simply put: to prevent reasonable people like us from acting like barbarians like them.

    His attempt to play down the suffering of the British during the war is equally feeble and counter-factual. His leading example of the 105-year-old grandmother (who is presented by way of second-hand hearsay) is absurd. It’s clear that she was born, at the latest, in 1907. That makes her old enough, as a 7-11 year old during the Great War, to have heard the horror stories of her parent’s generation, and to be scarred by that generation’s experience – no-one of her age would have failed to notice the hushed tones in which the adults of her generation spoke of the Great War.

    She would have been 32 on the outbreak of the Second World War – so of an age to have a clear memory of the suffering. Is it any surprise that a probably senile old lady recalls formative experiences of her childhood and adult life in her illness? Does Dr Beck seriously think that any adult in that period can have been unaffected by the experience of living through the war, especially when they had childhood experience of the first and its aftermath? Does he seriously believe that it was possible for anyone not to have friends, if not relations, involved with the war effort? If he does, then he thinks and believes obvious nonsense, and reveals an ignorance of recent history disturbing in an academic. His other examples, e.g. ‘a barrister said to me once’, reported with all the accuracy of a drunken chat at the back of a pub, are of even less probative value and can be taken about as seriously as Fawlty Towers’ episode on the Germans (which, since I’ve mentioned it, actually portrays the Germans respectfully and a certain British attitude, represented by the Major, as ridiculous).

    Further, in writing that hostility to Germany in Britain is ‘timeless and unchanging’, he reveals that his understanding of English foreign policy is extremely shallow. Had he any familiarity of nineteenth century politics and earlier, he would know that the Germans, to the generation that fought in the Great War, had been seen as the natural allies of Britain against the military threat of the French, and the German states had occupied that position, i.e. of allies, since Napoleon. Timeless and unchanging? No – changed by the actions of two generations of Germans – which explains the historical importance of that period, and some of the devotion of TV channels to it. Further, by its presence for the past 70 years in Germany, membership of NATO, and joint projects such as the Tornado jet, the British armed forces have worked with the Germans for their defence in a close co-operation. For all of the silly bombast of the tabloids, football matches between Britain and Germany for many years have been played and watched in a spirit that bears no relation to Dr Beck’s lazy stereotyping. To portray the British attitude to the modern Germans as one of simple hatred or bigotry, therefore, as this man does try to, is quite misguided and wrong. The actual reception of His Holiness Pope Benedict, on his visit to London, as opposed to the anticipatory media outcry, was one of friendly welcome. Unexpectedly large crowds turned out in London to greet him. Dr Beck’s reality seems to be one taken wholly from the online press speculation, and is not based on personal observation or after-the-event reports at all.

    In the mainstream press, the history of the period is able to be clearer in England than it is on the continent, for the simple reason that as only a tiny fragment of our territories were occupied (the Channel Islands), we don’t have the same problem with Nazi collaborators and supporters that plague all other European countries. Further, our history isn’t complicated by any post-war occupation by the Soviet state, so muddying the collective memory of Nazism, e.g. as in Hungary. So our national discourse is unexpectedly simpler than any other found on the continent. How can there be any surprise in this? It is also true that for the generation which lived through it the Second World War is seen as the last time that Britain (and her empire) was a superpower in world affairs; the Suez crisis, end of empire and need to go cap in hand to the Americans just to get by economically showed a new and uncomfortable reality very soon after the war’s conclusion.

    He also ought to realise that the viewers of the history channels on satellite television do not represent the majority of the country, and in any event at least some of them are quite able to distinguish between a military history hobby or point of interest and how they deal day to day with any Germans they may encounter.

    Of course, online discussions are of a lower standard (subject to Goodwin’s ‘law’). However, if Dr Beck takes the opinions of the trolls too seriously, so as not to be able to differentiate between the bile of the internet, and serious discussions, then he is confusing himself. Naturally, even serious discussions of human rights are framed by the actions of the Nazi state, which were the actions, the collective will, of Germans. The fact that this is taken too far on a few internet fora doesn’t cause that not to be true.

    However, he seems to have been unable to separate internet debate from serious discussion. His overall point, making a link between remembering the history of the Nazi state, and the debate as to the financial future of the Eurozone, as has been commented above, is a weak one, and has been confused by his failure to discard the opinions of trolls. Serious financial discussions of how to deal with the Euro crisis have not yet degenerated into accusations of Nazism. An academic should be able to separate the poisonous side of the internet from the serious negotiations which are taking place in and between governments, and his approach, ignoring history, and looking for serious discussions in the wrong places, indicate his weaknesses as an academic.

  3. ObiterJ says:

    There is a natural tendency to refer back to the reasons why (a) the European Convention on HR and (b) the EU came about. It was clearly sensible to try to prevent, if at all possible, some of the gross abuses of human rights which took place. However, the living instrument doctrine (disliked by many a UK politician) has ensured that the convention has not been stuck in 1952 and, via protocols, the protection offered has improved. As for the EU, the original Treaties of Rome (especially ECSC) came about in order to lock in and control the steel production of places such as the Ruhr.

    There is little point in looking back all the time and I am not quite so sure that younger people in our country do actually look back to WW2 or before. However, there is no doubt that, when it suits them, the media and some politicians love to hark back to the Third Reich.

    I suspect that the resignation of non-lawyer Dr P-D from the Commission might have had more to do with him not being one of the “QC club” which the commission is. (He was replaced by a QC). However, having been appointed, I think he should have “hung in there” and fought for his views.

  4. There are some interesting ideas buried within the article, very well buried. I agree that the “infantilising effect of prejudice on rational debate and policy-making” is a serious problem. Given that, I am of course heartened to see a statement like this:

    “In the end, China which has so shrewdly refused to do what Germany seems so eager to do, namely to bail out the eurozone, will mop up what remains in Europe on ebay, and it is unlikely that it will make subtle distinctions between things German and British. We shall all be equal then.”

    Which I am sure we can all agree seems carefully considered and entirely uninfluenced by infantilising prejudice? Maybe not.

    The rest of the article is similarly full of anecdote, personal opinion and exaggeration – the key tools of “rational debate”. We are told for example that: “An English friend at the Bar told me that some time ago an English trial judge, when faced with a plea of discrimination on the grounds of nationality by a German plaintiff, could not resist pointing out that one had to bear in mind that anti-German feeling and prejudice form part of Britain’s national heritage and cherished national memory” we are not given any actual evidence to support this extraordinary assertion.

    Indeed, anyone who can write an article calling for more rational debate and then devote the entire first paragraph to, essentially, calling an 105 year old grandmother a racist. (because she did not lose enough relatives in WW2 for his taste) Well, they are certainly in no danger of triggering any other British stereotypes about “the Foreigners”, such as those relating to irony for example.

    Some of the sentences are extraordinary. Here is one: “society has undergone profound social and economic change in the last fifty years. Such change, many agree, has not been uniformly for the best.” Pause and let that one ruminate a while, perhaps he would like to lay out precisely which of the social and economic conditions of those times he would like to see return to Europe? Charitably, this is just a clumsy swipe at bankers or something… but it is difficult to tell given that he just lets this hang and moves onto a complaint that the history channel shows too many documentaries about WW2 (here, I admit, I am in complete agreement)

    Actually, far from being an article about hostility to Germany it is pretty clear that it is actually an article about how Dr Beck would like Germany to allow the collapse of the Euro Zone…. Much like Dr Beck I have no real expertise in that field, so I won’t comment.

    I must also make a final comment on Hungary – Dr Beck Praises Hungary for not having a media culture of “anti-German rhetoric”. Hungary may have an enlightened media attitude towards placing german history in its proper context – but what is certain is that it today faces serious problems with both Media Freedom and Neo-Nazism. Clarkson-esque attitudes to WW2 by some pale compared to the spectre of Hungarian Jews having bounties placed on their heads by Jobbink MP’s (http://hurryupharry.org/2012/07/24/hungarian-neo-nazis-offer-cash-for-jews/) and the whitewashing of the past (http://hurryupharry.org/2012/07/07/hungary-rehabilitates-nazi-collaborators-wiesel-renounces-award/) and crackdown on media freedoms (http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/25/hungary-new-laws-curb-media-freedom) Hungary currently faces. Dr Beck should be in no doubt that far-right Neo-Nazism in Europe is still a powerful and malevolent force that needs to be fought against.

  5. Tim says:

    I’m not aware of any particular ‘abiding obsession with Nazi Germany in the British media.’ It is the British media itself and the UK government who are behaving like Nazis. The former is often racist, disablist and offensive in it’s reporting; the latter is worse, adding in the severe oppression of minorities.

    Dark times with the lynch mob at the ballot box.

Comments are closed.

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.




#50cases #catgate #fighthatewithhumanrights #lawblogs 7/7 7/7 bombing 7/7 inquest 7/7 inquests 9/11 100 years of women in law 1688 bill of rights 2010 General Election 2012 in review 2012 year in review 2017 @Iamspartacus a1p1 a1p1 breach A1P1 damages Aarhus Aarhus Convention A B and C abbas hall Abid Naseer ablyazov abortion Absent Witness Abu Hamza abu qatada abuse of dominant position abuse of private information abuse of process academic freedom access to courts access to information Access to justice accountability acoustic shock acquired disorder AC v Berkshire Addison Lee Adetoro v United Kingdom adjudication administrative law admissability criteria adoption adoption orders advance decision advance directive advertisements advertising affirmative action Afghanistan age assessment agency age of criminal responsibility aggravated damages agreement Agriculture Ahava Ahmad Faraz Khan AI air noise air pollution air quality air travel Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi Alan Turing ALBA alcohol dependence algorithm algorithms Alien Tort Statute alignment problem Al Jedda allergy allocation of resources Al Qaeda Al Quaeda Al Rawi Al Skeini alternative medicine alternative therapy altruism American Declaration of Independence Amnesty International Amnesty International 2010 Report amphibians amusement parks ancillary relief Andy Coulson animal cruelty animal culls animal rights Animals animal welfare anonymising anonymity anonymous website anorexia nervosa an rights Ansari ANS v ML [2012] UKSC 30 anti-blasphemy laws anti-discriminatiom anti-semitism anti-terrorism review anti-terrorist legislation antibody antiretrovirals anxious scrutiny AONB A P Herbert appeal Appeals archeology Arctic charr Arhuus Convention Armed forces army arrest Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 article 3 UNCRC article 5 Article 5 ECHR article 5(3) Article 6 article 6 criminal Article 6(3) Article 8 Article 8 claim against council Article 8 protection of privacy Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Article 50 article 263 TFEU artificial hydration and nutrition Artificial Intelligence artificial nutrition and hydration Artile 8 asbestosis Assange Assange extradition assisted reproduction assisted suicide assisting suicide associated newspapers asylum asylum amnesty asylum claim asylum law asylum seeker asylum seeker death driver asylum seekers ATE premiums atheism Atul Gawande audio Australia australian constitution autism autonomy axel springer axel springer ag ayslum Azelle Rodney babar ahmad baby Baby P badger cull badgers Badger Trust bad judges bad tackle Baha Mousa Public Inquiry Bahta & Ors bail BAILII bailout Balen Report ban bankers bonuses Bank Mellat baptism barclay brothers barristers bats' rights battlefield BBC beaches bedroom tax beijing belief benefit cap benefits bereavement damages best interests big business bike training service bilateral trade treaty bill of right Bill of Rights Bill of rights commission Bingham Rule of Law Centre Binyam Mohamed bioethics biology biomedicine biometric data biotechnology bipolar disorder birds directive birmingham birth certificate births deaths and marriages BJ (INCAPACITATED ADULT) sub nom SALFORD CITY COUNCIL v BJ Black & Morgan v. Wilkinson blawg blawg review blight blogging blogosphere blogs blood Bloody Sunday Bloody Sunday findings BNP boaters boats Body scanners Boris Johnson bovine TB bradley manning BRCA BRCA gene BRCA mutation breach of Article 6 breach of Article 6(1) breach of confidence breast cancer brevet brexit Brian Haw bribery Bribery Act 2010 Brighton Conference Brighton Declaration British Airways British Airways v Unite British Bill of Rights British Chiropractic Association British citizenship British constitution British embassy british lawyers British soldiers Broadmoor bronze soldier brownlie browsing BSkyB BUCKLAND v. THE UNITED KINGDOM - 40060/08 - HEJUD Buddhism budget Bull v Hall burkha Burnham Market Book Festival Cadder Cafcass Canada canal cancellation cancer CAP capacity carbon capture cardio-pulmonary resuscitation Care and Support Bill care home care home; elderly people; dementia; capacity; deprivation of liberty care homes care order Care orders care proceedings car insurance carnivores Carson v UK case law Case Note Catholic Care Catholic Church catholic midwives CBI CCTV cerebral palsy CETA CFAs chagos Chagos Islanders charitable objects charity Charity Commission Charles J read judgment Simon Lewis Charlie Hebdo charter Charter of Fundamental Rights chemotherapy chief coroner child child's best interests child abduction child poverty Child Poverty Action Group child protection Children children's homes children's rights Children Act children giving evidence child welfare chimpanzees China Chindamo Chris Grayling Chris Packham Christian christianity church church of scientology CIA circumcision citizens advice bureau citizenship citizens rights civil liberties civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships civil proceedings civl partnerships CJEU CJEU rule of law class of degree client earth climate change climate change sceptic climategate climate research unit clinical need clinical negligence cloning closed material procedure Closed Material Procedures Coalition agreement Coalition Government Code Civile code of conduct cohabitees cold calling Cologne combat immunity comments comment thread commission Commission for Equality & Human Rights Commission on a Bill of Rights common buzzard common law common law rights communications Communications Act 2003 communications data Communications Data Bill 2008 Compassion in World Farming compelementary medicine compensation competition complementary medicine compulsory detention compulsory labour computer hacking computer science concentration camps conditional fee agreements conditions Confederation of British Industry confidentiality confiscation order conscience conscience clause conscientious objection consent conservation Conservative Party Conservatives constitution constitutional court of south africa constitutional disorder construction consultation consultation responses contact order contact point contempt of court contempt of court act content neutrality content providers contingency fee arrangements contract control and restraint Control orders Convention system of protection Conway cookies copying Copyright copyright infringement cornrows coronavirus coroner Coroner's inquest coroners Coroners and Justice Act 2009 corporal punishment cosmetics testing costs Costs and Procedure costs budgets council Council of Europe Counter Terrorism and Security Bill cour de cassation court Court of Justice of the European Union Court of Protection Court of Session Court Orders court procedure Courts Bill Courts Martial Covent Garden Coventry Council CPR gateway CPS CRB challenge credibiility] credibility cricket crime crimes against humanity Criminal criminal conviction Criminal Courts Charge criminal justice Criminal Justice and Courts Bill criminal law Criminal Legal Aid criminal prosecution criminal records criminal responsibility criminal sentencing Cross Examination Crown Prosecution Service crr crucifix cryonic preservation custody custody dispute cuts Cybersecurity D daily mail Daily Mirror Dajid Singh Shergill Dale Farm evictions damage Damages dangerous nonsense database data controller data processing data protection data retention data sharing data snooping date rape david cameron David Chaytor David James David Kelly David Miranda day care closures death death match death penalty Debbie Purdy declaration declaration of incompatibility defamation Defamation Act Defamation Bill defaming the dead defence of illegality defendant's costs order deficit defmation DEFRA delegated legislation democracy Democracy village demolition order demotion Dennis Gill dentist's registration fees Department of Health deportation deportation cases deprivation of liberty deprivation of property derogations Detainee inquiry Detention determinism devolution devolved government Dewani diagnosis Diane Pretty Dica diego garcia Digital Economy Act 2010 Digital Economy Bill Dignitas dignity Dignity in Dying diplomacy diplomatic immunity direct action Directive direct marketing director of public prosecutions disability Disability-related harassment disabled claimants disciplinary hearing disclosure Disclosure of Previous Convictions discretionary leave to remain discretion to quash Discrimination Discrimination law disease dismissal disqualification dissenting judges Divisional Court divorce DNA DNA database DNA home-testing DNA retention DNA testing doctor doctor-patient relationship doctors doctrine of double effect doctrine of state act does it matter? domestic violence domestic workers Dominic Grieve don't ask don't ask don't tell don't tell donor Do Not Resuscitate Notices Doogan and Wood do trees have rights? double conviction DPP guidelines Dr Chhabra dripa driving licence driving penalty Drones Drone strikes drug dealer damages drug offence Dr Zakir Naik Dublin Convention Dublin II Dublin III regulation Dublin II Regulation Dublin Regulation Dudko duties duty of care duty to investigate duty to rescue eastenders eating horses ECHR economic and social rights economic loss economic rights ECtHR Ed Snowden Education Edward Snowden EHRC elderly election election court election results Electoral Commission report Electoral law electric cars electricity Elizabeth Warren ellie butler el masri embryo embryonic stem cells embryos emergency budget emissions trading employers Employment employment appeal tribunal employment disputes employment law employment rights Employment Tribunal fees employment tribunals employment vetting English Defence Leauge English translation enhanced criminal record checks entitlement Environment environmental challenges environmental impact assessment environmental information environmental justice Environmental law environmental law foundation environmental liability directive environmental protection environmental rights environment brexit Envrionmental Information Directive epa endangerment finding eployment Equality Act Equality Act 2010 Equality and Human Rights Commission Equality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister & Ors [2011] EWHC 2401 (Admin) - equality of arms equal marriage equal marriage consultation equal treatment erika espionage ethics EU eu and strasbourg EU Charter EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms eu commission EU competence eu costs eu courts EU criminal Law opt out eu documents eu law Europe european european arrest warrant European Charter European Charter of Fundamental Rights European Charter of Fundamental Rigths European Commission European Communities Act European Convention European Convention on Human Rights European Court European Court of European Court of Human Rights European Court of Human Rights reform European Court of Justice european disability forum European law European Sanctions Blog European Social Charter european union Eurozone EUSFTA eu state liability euthanasia EU transparency EU Turkey summit EU waste directive eviction evidence evidence-based medicine Evidence-based policy evidence of torture evironmental assessment evolution ex-pats exceptional case funding exceptionality excessive taxes exclusion exclusion order executions exhaustion of domestic remedies expenses expenses scandal expert evidence Expert evidence on foreign law Express extinct extinction rebellion extra-jurisdictional reach of ECHR extra-territoriality extradition extradition act extradition procedures extradition review extraordinary rendition Eyjafjallajökull volcano Facebook Facebook contempt facial recognition factitious disorder factory farming fair procedures Fair Trial faith courts fake news false imprisonment false passport Families Need Fathers Family Family Court family courts Family Courts without a Lawyer: A Handbook for Litigants in Person family division Family Justice Review family law family legal aid Family life farage farm farm animals farming fast-track removal fatal accidents act fathers fathers rights feature fertility treatment FGM finance Financial Conduct Authority financial dependency financial harm financial information Financial Services Authority Firat Dink First Amendment first publishers fisheries fishing claims fishing industry fishing quota fishing rights fitness to practise Flood v The Times Flood v Times foetus foia food banks forced marriage force feeding foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy forensic science format shifting Fourteenth Amendment fracking France francovich freedom freedom of assembly Freedom of Association freedom of conscience Freedom of Expression freedom of information Freedom of Information Act 2000 freedom of movement freedom of speech freedom of the press free expression Freemen of the land free movement of goods free speech free will freezing assets French schools FTP fundamental rights Funeral pyre Future of legal blogging G (Children) G4S G20 protest Gabrielle Giffords Gaddafi regime gainsborough game birds Gamu Nhengu gangbo gang injunctions Garry Mann gary dobson Gary McFarlane gay couple gay discrimination Gay marriage gay rights gay soldiers Gaza Gaza conflict gazza GCHQ gdpr GE 2017 gearbox Gender gender reassignment General Dental Council General Duty General Election general election 2010 general election 2019 General Medical Council genes genetic affinity genetic discrimination genetic disorder genetic engineering genetic information Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act genetic modification genetics genetic testing Geneva Convention genome genome sequencing Geoff Hoon George Osborne German Chancellor German court Germany germ line mutation Ghailani GlaxoSmithKlein gmc Goldman Sachs golf course Google government governmental bodies GP privacy grayling consultation Great Repeal Bill green belt grenfell Gresham College grooming gross offence Guantanamo Bay Guardian News and Media Ltd guernsey G v E & Ors G v E & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 939 gwyneth paltrow gypsies H1N1 habeas corpus habitats habitats protection hackgate Halsbury's Law Exchange hammerton v uk hancock Haney happy new year harassment Hardeep Singh Haringey Council haringey council tax benefit Harkins and Edwards hate speech Health healthcare health insurance hearing loss Heathrow heist heightened scrutiny Henry VII Henry VIII herd immunity hereditary disorder High Court of Justiciary high speed train route Hindu Hirst No. 2 Hirst v UK HIV HJ Iran HM (Iraq) v The Secretary of state for the home department [2010] EWCA Civ 1322 Holder holkham beach holocaust home homelessness Home Office Home Office v Tariq homeopathy Homo Deus homophobia homo sapiens homosexual hooding horisontality horizontal application horizontal effect horsemeat hospitals Hounslow v Powell House of Commons Housing housing benefit housing benefits Howard Donald Howard League for Penal Reform how judges decide cases hra damages claim HRA incorporation Hrant Dink HRLA HS2 hs2 challenge hts http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/04/11/us-state-department-reports-on-uk-human-rights/ human being human dignity Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority human genome humanism human rights Human Rights Act Human Rights Act 1998 human rights advocacy Human rights and the UK constitution human rights commission human rights conventions human rights damages Human Rights Day human rights decisions Human Rights Information Project human rights in private disputes human rights news human rights record Human Rights Watch human right to education Human Tissue Act human trafficking hung parliament hunting Huntington's Chorea Huntington's Disease HXA hyper injunctions Ian McEwan ICAO Igor Sutyagin illegal immigration illegality illegality defence illegitimacy image rights imaginary litigation immigration Immigration/Extradition Immigration Act 2014 immigration appeals immigration detention immigration judge immigration rules immunity Imports incorporation HRA increase of sanction indefinite leave to remain indian advocates indian supreme court indirect discrimination Indonesia Industrial Action informed consent Infrastructure Planning Committee inherent jurisdiction inherited disease Inhuman and degrading treatment injunction injunction continued inland revenue Inquest inquest law Inquests inquiry insanity inshore fleet insult insurance insurmountable obstacles intellectual property intelligence intelligence services act intensive care intercept evidence interception interests of the child interim remedies international international comity international conflict international court of justice international criminal court international humanitarian law international human rights international human rights law International Labour Organisation international law International Stem Cell Corporation international treaty obligations internet internet libel internet service providers internment internship interrogation intrusion inuit invasive species invention investigation investigative duty in vitro fertilisation Iran iranian bank sanctions Iranian nuclear program iran sanctions Iraq Iraqi asylum seeker Iraq War Ireland Irish Constitution irrationality ISC ISIL islam isolated nucleic acids isolation Israel israeli palestinian conflict italian ships Italy iTunes IVF ivory ban Jack Dorsey jackson reforms Janowiec and Others v Russia ( Japan japanese knotweed Jason Smith jean charles de menezes Jeet Singh Jefferies jehovah's witnesses Jeremy Clarkson Jeremy Corbyn jeremy hunt jihad Jihadi brides jihadists JIH identity jim duffy job jobseekers' allowance Jogee John Hemming John Terry joint enterprise joint tenancy jonathan sumption Jon Guant Joseph v Spiller journalism judaism judges Judges and Juries judging judgment judgment in default Judicial activism judicial brevity judicial deference Judicial immunity judicial no-mans land judicial oversight judicial power judicial review Judicial Review reform Judicial Studies Board judiciary Julian Assange Julian Asssange Juncker jurisdiction jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Act Justice and Security Bill Justice and Security Green Paper Justice Cameron Justice Human Rights Awards JUSTICE Human Rights Awards 2010 justiciability justification just satisfaction Kant Katyn Massacre Kay v Lambeth Kay v UK kazakstan Ken Clarke Ken Pease Kerry McCarthy Kettling Khan v Advocate General for Scotland khordokovsky Kings College Kiobel Klimas koran burning laboratory animals laboratory test Labour labour law lack of reasons Lady Hale land landfill gas landowner landowners language lansley NHS reforms LASPO Law Commission Law Pod UK Law Society Law Society of Scotland leave to enter leave to remain Lee Rigby legal advice privilege legal aid legal aid cuts Legal Aid desert Legal Aid Reforms legal blogs Legal Certainty legality legal naughty step Legal Ombudsman legal privilege legal profession legal professional privilege legal representation legitimate expectation let as a dwelling Leveson Inquiry Levi Bellfield lewisham hospital closure Lewis Malcolm Calver liability Libel libel reform Liberal Democrat Conference Liberal Democrats liberal humanism Liberty libraries closure library closures licence conditions licence to shoot licensee life insurance life orders life sentence life support limestone pavements limitation lisbon treaty Lithuania litigant in person litvinenko live exports livestock livestock trade living instrument living will LME local authorities local government locked in syndrome locus standi london borough of merton London Legal Walk London Probation Trust Lord Bingham Lord Bingham of Cornhill Lord Blair Lord Carey Lord Goldsmith lord irvine Lord Judge Lord Judge speech Lord Justice Jackson Lord Kerr Lord Lester Lord Mance Lord Neuberger Lord Phillips Lord Rodger Lord Sales Lord Saville Report Lord Sumption Lord Taylor LSC tender luftur rahman MAGA Magna Carta Magna Carter Mail Online mail on sunday Majority Verdict Malcolm Kennedy male circumcision malice malicious falsehood mandela M and Others v Her Majesty’s Treasury manifestation of belief manifestos Margaret Thatcher Margin of Appreciation margin of discretion Maria Gallastegui Marie Colvin marine conservation marine environmental law marine sanctuaries Mark Kennedy mark twain marriage marriage act 1949 material support maternity pay Matthew Woods Mattu v The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2068 (QB) Maya the Cat Mba v London Borough Of Merton Mcfarlane McKenzie friend me/cfs research Media and Censorship media judge Medical medical confidentiality medical ethics medical evidence medical liability medical negligence medical profession medical qualifications medical records medical treatment medicine mental capacity mental capacity; press; reporting restrictions Mental Capacity Act Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health mental health act mental health advocacy mental health awareness Mental Health Courts mental health hospital Mental illness merits review mesothelioma metgate MGN v UK michael gove Middle Temple Midwives Milly Dowler minimally conscious minimum income minimum sentence Ministerial Code Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice cuts miscarriage of justice misfeasance in public office missiles misuse of private information mitochondrial disease MMR MMR vaccination modern slavery Mohamed monitoring powers monsanto montgomery mooring moral circle morality morocco mortgage fraud mortuaries motherhood motor neuron disease Motor Neurone disease Moulton Mousa movement for democratic change MP expenses Mr Brewer Mr Gul Mr Justice Eady Mr Justice Sharp MS (Palestinian Territories) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Munchausen Munchausen by proxy murder murder reform music Musician's Union Muslim mustafa kamal mutation mutations myanmar MY Cannis my kingdom for a horse Myriad NADA v. SWITZERLAND - 10593/08 - HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1691 Nadja Benaissa naked rambler Naomi Campbell narcolepsy National Health Act nationality National Origin National Pro Bono Week national security national sovereignty Natural England natural rights nature nature conservation naturism Nazi neanderthals necessary implication need for legal aid needs assessment negligence neighbour dispute Neuberger neural degeneration neurogenerative disease neuroscience Newcastle university news News of the World news roundup new Supreme Court President NGO standing NHS NHS Risk Register NICE Nick Clegg Nicklinson Niqaab niqab No Angels Noise Regulations 2005 non-justiciability nonhuman animals non voluntary euthanasia Northern Ireland Northern Irish Assembly notification requirements nuclear challenges nuisance nurse nursing nursing home obiter dicta Occupy London offensive jokes Offensive Speech offensive t shirt official solicitor of Rights Commission oil and gas oil spill olympics open justice oppress oppressive treatment OPQ v BJM orchestra orthodox schools Osama Bin Laden Osborn v The Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61 ouster clause overseas aid Oxford University Palestinian Territories palliative care palliative sedation paramount consideration paramountcy principle parental responsibility order parental rights parenthood parents responsibility parking spaces parliament parliamentary expenses parliamentary expenses scandal Parliamentary sovereignty Parliament square parole parole board party funding passengers rights passing off passive smoking passport passport seizure pastor Terry Jones patent patents paternity Pathway Students patiets' rights Patrick Quinn murder Paul Chambers PCOs peace-keeping operations Pensions people for the ethical treatment of animals (Peta) performers' rights permanent injunction persecution persistent vegetative state personal data personal information Personal Injury personality rights Personal life perversity Pet Animals Act 1951 Peter and Hazelmary Bull Peter Gibson pet shops PF and EF v UK Philip Lawrence Phil Woolas phone hacking phone taps photos photovoltaics physical and mental disabilities physical restraint physician assisted death Pinnock Piracy PJS placement order planning planning human rights planning system planning time limits plantagenet plebgate pleural plaques POCA podcast points poison Poland Police police investigations police liability police misconduct police powers police surveillance policing Policy Exchange report political advertising political judges political persecution politicians for hire Politics Politics/Public Order pollution polonium poor reporting Pope Pope's visit Pope Benedict porsche 917 portal possession order possession proceedings post mortem Posts power of attorney PoW letters to ministers pre-nup pre-nuptial Pre-trial detention predator control pregnancy preliminary reference prerogative powers press Press Association press briefing press freedom Priest priests primary legislation Prince Andrew Prince Charles prince of wales princess caroline of monaco principle of subsidiarity prior restraint prison Prisoners prisoners rights prisoners voting prisoner vote prisoner votes prisoner voting prison numbers prison rules Prisons prison vote privacy privacy injunction privacy law through the front door private disputes Private life private nuisance private use procedural unfairness Procedure proceeds of crime Professional Discipline professional indemnity Professional life Property property rights proportionality prosecution Protection of Freedoms Act Protection of Freedoms Bill protective costs Protest protest camp protest rights Protocol 15 psychiatric hospitals psychology psychotherapy Public/Private public access publication public authorities public authority public bodies Public Bodies Bill public figure public funding public inquiries public inquiry public interest public interest environmental litigation public interest immunity public interest litigation publicity public law unfairness Public Order public powers public procurement Public Sector Equality Duty Public Services Ombudsman Putin putting the past behind quango quantum quarantine Queen's Speech queer in the 21st century R (on the application of) v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts & Anor [2012] EWCA Civ 472 R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 895 R (on the application of) v The General Medical Council [2013] EWHC 2839 (Admin) R (on the application of EH) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 2569 (Admin) R (on the application of G) v The Governors of X School Rabone Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 Race race relations Rachel Corrie racial discrimination Racial equality radio radiotherapy Radmacher Raed Salah Mahajna Raed Saleh Ramsgate randomised controlled trial rape rape case raptors Ratcliffe 6 Ratcliffe on Soar Ratcliffe power station rating rationality rcs RCW v A Local Authority reasonableness reasons reasons challenges recent case law and news Recent posts reception conditions recognition of judgments recreational rights Redfearn v UK referendum reform refugee applications refugee crisis refugee status refusal of treatment Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages registration regulatory rehabilitation of offenders Reith Lectures Re J (A Child: Disclosure) [2012] EWCA Civ 1204 relgious freedom Religion religion in the courts religious beliefs religious discrimination religious freedom religious prosecution remedies renewables subsidies rent repeal reporting restrictions representation reproductive rights reproductive technologies reproductive wrongs rescue rescuer's claim resettlement of offenders resource allocation respect for family life responsibility in tort restrictions on exports restrictions on liberty results 2010 resuscitation retrospective application of the Human Rights Act retrospective legislation retrospective penalty retrospectivity rev paul nicholson reynolds Reynolds defence Re [2012] EWCA Civ 1233 richard III Richard O'Dwyer right of appeal rightsifno RightsInfo rights of children Right to a fair hearing right to a fair trial right to a home right to a remedy right to artistic expression right to a student loan right to autonomy right to autonomy and privacy right to die right to dies right to die with dignity right to dignity right to education right to expression right to family life right to food right to free enjoyment of possessions right to information right to liberty right to life right to peaceful enjoyment of property Right to Privacy right to private and family life right to refuse treatment right to respect for private life right to silence right to strike right to swim right to truth right to vote Rihanna Rio Ferdinand riots ripa rise of fascism risk risk assessment rival supermarkets Roma Roman Catholic Roman Catholic Church roman catholic schools Romania Rooney's Gold roundup roundup ready Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust royal dutch petroleum royal name Royal Oper House Royal Prerogative rule of law Rupert Jackson Rusal Russia russia and human rights Russian Federal Security Service Rutherford Ryanair s sadie frost Safari same-sex same sex parents same sex partnerships same sex relationship sanctions set aside sanctity of life Sandiford Sapiens Sarah Ferguson sark satire saudi arabia Savage (Respondent) v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Saville Report schedule 7 schizophrenia school building school surveillance schrems science scientific atheism scientific research scientology Scoppola Scotland Scotland Act Scotland Act 1998 Scotland Bill Scottish Government Scottish Human Rights Commission scottish landlord and tenant Scottish Parliament SCOTUS sea fishing seals Seal v UK search engines search powers secondary legislation secondary smoking secrecy Secretary of State Secretary of State for the Home Department v AP secret courts secret criminal trial secret evidence secret justice Secret trials sectarianism secularism security security cameras security services security vetting Sedar Mohammed segregation Select Committee on AI self-defence self-incrimination seminar sentencing September 11 serco serious harm sermon Seroxat service outside jurisdiction set-off Sewel Convention sex abuse sex ban sex ban low IQ sex offender Sex offenders sex register sexual abuse Sexual Offences sexual orientation sexual orientation regulations SFO investigation sfo unlawfulness shaker aamer Shamima Begum sham marriage shared residence order Sharon Shoesmith shetland shipping shipwreck Shirley Chaplin shooting shoulder shrug should trees have rights SIAC sihkism Simon Singh sir alan ward Sir Nicholas Wall Sir Peter six months rule slander slaughterhouses slavery smacking small claims court small solar Smith Smith & Ors v The Ministry of Defence [2012] EWCA Civ 1365 smog smoking ban Snyder v Phelps social and economic rights social benefits social housing socialite social media social security law social welfare social workers Solicitorsfromhell website solitary confinement soma somali pirates sources South Africa south african constitution sovereignty Sovereignty clause soviet union soybean Spanish properties spare room subsidy special advocate special advocates species specific performance spending cuts spielmann squatters Standing standing rules starvation state immunity statelessness statute statutory power Statutory purpose stay of execution stem cell research stem cells stem cell therapy Stephen Gough stephen sedley stepping hill hospital Sterilisation steve macqueen Steven Neary stobart-law stop and search stop powers Stormont Assembly storms Strasborug Strasbourg Strasbourg Court strasbourg damages pirates strasbourg law Strasbourg terminology strategic environmental assessment strike strike out Strikes student loans sturgeon subsidies Sugar v BBC suicide suicide act 1961 super injunction super injunctions supermax prisons superstition Supreme Court Supreme Court Live Supreme Court of Canada Supreme Court Scotland surgery surrogacy surrogacy arrangement surveillance swine flu Syria systemic violence Take That tallinn tariff Taser Tax tax avoidance tax discrimination tchenguiz technology Telegraph telephone preference service television justice tenancy tent city termination termination of pregnancy terror asset freezing Terrorism terrorism act terrorism act 2000 terrorism legislation terrorism prosecution terrorist finance terrorist threat terry pratchett Tesla testamentary dispositions The Bike Project the Catholic church The Corner House theism The Law in These Parts therapy Theresa May the right to privacy The Stig The Sun third countries third party appeals three way case time limits time limits in human rights Tobacco tobacco cartels Top Gear tort Torture torture inquiry totally without merit TPIM TPP tracking trade trade secrets trades unions trade union congress Trade Unions transexual transsexual transsexuals travel travellers travel restrictions treason treatment treaty treaty accession trial by jury trolling TTIP TTM v London Borough of Hackney & Ors Tugendhat tumour Turkey tweeting in court Twitter twitter in court Twitter Joke Trial UK UK citizenship uk constitution UK election UK Human Rights Blog UK Human Rights Roundup UKIP UK Jewish Film Festival ukraine UK Supreme Court UK Uncut ultra orthodox jews ultra vires UN unable to vote unacceptable behaviour policy unaccompanied minors unborn child UN Convention on the Rights of the Child unelected judges unemployment unfair consultation unfair dismissal unfairness at hearing Unison Unite United Against Fascism Group United Kingdom United Nations United States United States v Windsor universal declaration of human rights universal jurisdiction Universal Periodic Review University University Fees university of east anglia University of Southampton unjust and oppressive unlawful arrest unlawful detention unpaid work schemes UN Resolution unsolicited calls UPR US aviation US Constitution use as of right US Supreme Court vaccination Valkyries variants veganism vehicle breakdown vetting and barring vicarious liability victim victim status Victoria Climbie victorian charter Vienna airport vigilantism villagisation vinton cerf violence violist visa scheme vivisection voluntary euthanasia Volunteers voter compensation voters compensation voting voting compensation vulnerable Wagner Wakefield Wales War war correspondents ward of court War Horse water utilities Watts Wayne Rooney Websites welfare of child welfare of children welfare of the child welfare state welsh bill western sahara whaling What would happen if the UK withdrew from the European Court of Human Rights whimbrel whisky Whistleblowing WHO who is JIH whole gene sequencing whole life orders whorship Wikileaked cable Wikileaks wiklleaks Wild Law wildlife Wildlife and Countryside Act will William Hague William Marbury wills wind farms wind turbine Winterbourne View witchcraft withdrawal of treatment women's rights Woolas worboys Workers working time directive wrongful birth wrongful conception wrongful life WTO wuhan X AND OTHERS v. AUSTRIA - 19010/07 - HEJUD [2013] ECHR 148 X Factor XX v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 742 X Y and Z v UK Yemshaw Yildirim v Turkey Your freedom website YouTube yukos Yuval Noah Hariri Zakir Naik Zanu-PF Zero Hours Contracts ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Zimbabwe Zimbabwe farm invasions ZN (Afghanistan) (FC) and others ZZ [2015] CSIH 29 [2015] CSOH 168 £750


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.

%d bloggers like this: