Caesarean Escalation, Judges on Human Rights and Happy Birthday – the Human Rights Roundup

8 December 2013 by

Birthday HRRWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular seasonal sack-load of human rights news and views.  The full list of links can be found here.  You can find previous roundups here.  Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Sarina Kidd. 

This week, bloggers tried to get to the bottom of the ‘forced caesarian’ case, a Supreme Court judge weighed in on the relationship between the UK and European law, and on Tuesday it’s the 65th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the News

Human Rights Day – this Tuesday 

This Tuesday 10 December is Human Rights Day, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrating its 65th birthday.

The ‘forced caesarean section’

It’s likely that you’d have read the provocative news about a woman who was given a c-section whilst unconscious, and then had her baby put into care, first reported by the Telegraph’s Christopher Booker – his latest article is here.

Lucy Reed, of the PinkTape, examines the escalation of the story, expressing her concern that its essence ‘was not apparently based on fact at all…the crucial distinction between the justification for a medical procedure and the justification for a removal of a child into care is what has been blurred and subsequently lost in the reporting of this case’.  She has a later post updating the matter, in which 2 of the 3 relevant judgments have been made available, noting that the affair is still ongoing. She also states that although it was the media furore that led to the judgments being made available, ‘it is spurious to suggest that this sort of headline led reporting is some kind of public service.’

On a similar vein, Carl Gardner likens the escalation to ‘flat earth news’ in which ‘a story appears to be true. It is widely accepted as true. It becomes a heresy to suggest that it is not true – even if it is riddled with falsehood, distortion and propaganda’. He  then proceeds to analyse some of the agendas of the Telegraph journalist Christopher Booker and MP John Hemming, who were two of the original commentators. Both Gardner and Reed also emphasise the damage that has been caused by this reporting, unfairly smearing the social workers, NHS doctors, mentally ill people and vulnerable children. Also see Adam Wagner’s UKHRB post here.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Prochaska at Birthrights examines the available judgments and expresses a number of concerns about the whole affair. For example, during the hearing of the judgment, the mother’s views do not seem to be considered in the court’s discussion. Also, there is no explanation in the judgment as to why the medical evidence that proposed that both mother and baby should be placed in a baby unit did not happen.

Finally, here’s a useful resource: Suesspicious Minds offers a beginner’s guide to the Court of Protection, which, as the Caesarean case demonstrates, regularly makes difficult and controversial decisions in cases involving people without mental capacity.

A gaggle of judges

To quote Mark Elliot at ‘Public Law for Everyone’, ‘lectures by senior judges on the relationship between the UK and European law are rather like the proverbial bus: you wait around for one, and then several arrive almost simultaneously.’

First up is Lord Judge, who retired last year as Lord Chief Justice. He has told the UCL Constitutional Unit that the Human Rights Act need to change to make it explicit that the British courts are not obliged to follow the rulings of Strasbourg. You can read his lecture in full here. He criticised Theresa May’s suggestion that ‘some judges choose to ignore Parliament and go on putting the law on the side of foreign criminals instead of the public’ and emphasised that a UK Court cannot ignore an Act of Parliament.

Dr Elliot analyses the speech in detail, explaining that for there to be an honest and effective debate on the issues at hand, ‘both sides must first acknowledge that, for the time being at least, European law has a constraining effect upon the United Kingdom that cannot be neutralised by reliance upon constructs of purely domestic constitution law. Only then can the appropriateness of that constraining effect be properly challenged or defended as the case may be’.

Meanwhile, Obiter J examines Lord Sumption’s lecture, ‘The Limits of Law’. Lord Sumption stated that, ‘Personally, if I may be allowed to speak as a citizen, I think that most of the values which underlie judicial decisions on human rights, both at Strasbourg and in the domestic courts of the United Kingdom, are wholly admirable. But it does not follow that I am at liberty to impose them on a majority of my fellow citizens without any democratic process’. The crux of Sumption’s argument seems to be that the current human rights protection system has had a detrimental effect on there being political solutions to rights problems. Obiter J argues against the notion that human rights should be addressed by political processes for, ‘political processes are not always minded to address matters of concern, especially where the matter affects a relatively small number of individuals.’

One can also read Lady Hale’s lecture ‘What the point in Human Rights?’ here in which she asks, ‘So what has gone wrong? Why is the [Human Rights] Act apparently so unpopular with politicians, the press and the public? Are they right?’ Hale explains that they aren’t and looks at the positive ways in which human rights law has impacted on people’s lives and buttressed against injustice. She concludes by considering what the consequences would be if the Human Rights Act were to be repealed.

And, finally, you can check out Lord Justice Laws’ Hamlyn Lecture, ‘The Common Law and Europe’ here, and Obiter J’s comments on it here.

In Other News

In the Courts

Upcoming Events

To add to this list, email Adam Wagner.  Please only send events which i) have their own webpage which can be linked to, and ii) are relevant to the topics covered by this blog.

UK Human Rights Blog Posts

2 comments


  1. rose white says:

    British judges may try to ignore Strasbourg but they cannot ignore the UN Declaration?

  2. jonholbrook says:

    On spiked I have argued that Lord Sumption is right: legal activism devalues the demos:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the_lawmakers_riding_roughshod_over_democracy/14364#.UqT4mHggHCQ

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.

Subscribe

Categories


Tags


7/7 Bombings 9/11 A1P1 Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals 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 article 263 TFEU Artificial Intelligence Asbestos Assange assisted suicide asylum asylum seekers Australia autism badgers benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology birds directive blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Commission on a Bill of Rights common buzzard common law communications competition confidentiality confiscation order conscientious objection consent conservation constitution contact order contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs costs budgets Court of Protection crime criminal law Criminal Legal Aid criminal records Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty declaration of incompatibility defamation DEFRA Democracy village deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention devolution Dignitas dignity Dignity in Dying diplomacy director of public prosecutions disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA doctors does it matter? domestic violence Dominic Grieve don't ask don't ask don't tell don't tell Doogan and Wood double conviction drones duty of care ECHR economic and social rights economic loss ECtHR Education election Employment Environment environmental information Equality Act Equality Act 2010 Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Human Rights European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Facebook Family Family life fatal accidents act Fertility FGM Finance fishing rights foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression freedom of information Freedom of Information Act 2000 freedom of movement freedom of speech free speech game birds gangbo gang injunctions Garry Mann gary dobson Gary McFarlane gay discrimination Gay marriage gay rights gay soldiers Gaza Gaza conflict Gender General Dental Council General Election General Medical Council genetic discrimination genetic engineering genetic information genetics genetic testing Germany Google government Grenfell grooming Gun Control gwyneth paltrow gypsies habitats habitats protection hammerton v uk happy new year Hardeep Singh Haringey Council Harkins and Edwards Health healthcare health insurance Heathrow heist heightened scrutiny Henry VII Henry VIII hereditary disorder 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 Office Home Office v Tariq homeopathy hooding Hounslow v Powell House of Commons Housing housing benefits Howard League for Penal Reform how judges decide cases hra damages claim HRLA HS2 hs2 challenge hts http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/04/11/us-state-department-reports-on-uk-human-rights/ Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority human genome 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 news Human Rights Watch human right to education human trafficking hunting Huntington's Disease HXA hyper injunctions Igor Sutyagin illegality defence immigration Immigration/Extradition Immigration Act 2014 immigration appeals immigration detention immigration judge immigration rules immunity India Indonesia Infrastructure Planning Committee inherited disease Inhuman and degrading treatment injunction Inquest Inquests insurance insurmountable obstacles intelligence services act intercept evidence interception interim remedies international international criminal court international law international treaty obligations internet internet service providers internship inuit investigation investigative duty in vitro fertilisation Iran Iranian nuclear program Iraq Iraqi asylum seeker Iraq War Ireland irrationality islam Israel Italy iTunes IVF ivory ban jackson reforms Janowiec and Others v Russia ( Japan Jason Smith Jeet Singh Jeremy Corbyn jeremy hunt job Jogee John Hemming John Terry joint enterprise joint tenancy Jon Guant Joseph v Spiller journalism judaism judges Judges and Juries judging Judicial activism judicial brevity judicial deference judicial review Judicial Review reform judiciary Julian Assange jurisdiction jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Act Justice and Security Bill Justice and Security Green Paper Justice Human Rights Awards JUSTICE Human Rights Awards 2010 just satisfaction Katyn Massacre Kay v Lambeth Kay v UK Ken Clarke Kerry McCarthy Kettling Kings College koran burning Labour Lady Hale LASPO Law Pod UK Law Society of Scotland leave to enter leave to remain legal aid legal aid cuts Legal Aid Reforms legal blogs Legal Certainty legal naughty step Legal Ombudsman legal representation legitimate expectation let as a dwelling Leveson Inquiry Levi Bellfield lewisham hospital closure lgbtq liability Libel libel reform Liberal Democrat Conference Liberty libraries closure library closures Libya licence conditions licence to shoot life insurance life sentence limestone pavements lisbon treaty Lithuania Litigation litvinenko live exports local authorities locked in syndrome London Legal Walk London Probation Trust Lord Bingham Lord Blair Lord Goldsmith lord irvine Lord Judge speech Lord Kerr Lord Lester Lord Neuberger Lord Phillips Lord Sumption Lord Taylor luftur rahman MAGA Magna Carta mail on sunday Majority Verdict Malcolm Kennedy malice Margaret Thatcher Margin of Appreciation margin of discretion Maria Gallastegui marriage material support maternity pay Matthew Woods Maya the Cat Mba v London Borough Of Merton McKenzie friend Media and Censorship Medical medical liability medical negligence medical qualifications medical records medicine mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Capacity Act 2005 Mental Health mental health act mental health advocacy mental health awareness Mental illness merits review MGN v UK michael gove Midwives migrant crisis Milly Dowler Ministerial Code Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice cuts misfeasance in public office modern slavery morality morocco mortuaries motherhood Motor Neurone disease Moulton Mousa MP expenses Mr Gul Mr Justice Eady MS (Palestinian Territories) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department murder murder reform Musician's Union Muslim NADA v. SWITZERLAND - 10593/08 - HEJUD [2012] ECHR 1691 naked rambler Naomi Campbell nationality National Pro Bono Week national security Natural England nature conservation naturism Nazi negligence Neuberger neuroscience Newcastle university news new Supreme Court President NHS NHS Risk Register Nick Clegg Nicklinson Niqaab Noise Regulations 2005 Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance nursing nursing home Obituary Occupy London offensive jokes Offensive Speech offensive t shirt oil spill olympics open justice oppress OPQ v BJM orchestra Osama Bin Laden paramountcy principle parental rights parenthood parliamentary expenses parliamentary expenses scandal Parliamentary sovereignty Parliament square parole board pastor Terry Jones patents Pathway Students Patrick Quinn murder Pensions persecution personal data Personal Injury personality rights perversity Peter and Hazelmary Bull PF and EF v UK Phil Woolas phone hacking phone taps physical and mental disabilities physician assisted death Pinnock Piracy Plagiarism planning planning human rights planning system plebgate POCA podcast points Poland Police police investigations police liability police misconduct police powers police surveillance Policy Exchange report political judges Politics Politics/Public Order poor reporting Pope portal possession proceedings power of attorney PoW letters to ministers pre-nup pre-nuptial Pre-trial detention predator control pregnancy press press briefing press freedom 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 Prisons prison vote privacy privacy injunction privacy law through the front door Private life private nuisance private use proceeds of crime Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecution Protection of Freedoms Act Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest protest camp protest rights Protocol 15 psychiatric hospitals Public/Private public access publication public authorities Public Bodies Bill public inquiries public interest public interest environmental litigation public interest immunity Public Order Public Sector Equality Duty putting the past behind quango quantum quarantine Queen's Speech queer in the 21st century 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) Rabone and another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 race relations Rachel Corrie Radmacher Raed Salah Mahajna Raed Saleh Ramsgate raptors rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion resuscitation RightsInfo right to die right to family life right to life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials security services sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa south african constitution Spain special advocates spending cuts Sports Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax Taxi technology Terrorism terrorism act tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vaccination vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe

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.

%d bloggers like this: