Help me find the 50 human rights cases absolutely everyone needs to know about

17 February 2015 by

PrintFollowers of the blog will know I am developing a new initiative, the Human Rights Information Project (HRIP). The aim is to radically rethink the way we communicate about human rights.

I need some help from you. I want to crowd-source data from readers of this blog about the 50 human rights cases absolutely everyone needs to know about. All contributors  will be attributed on the HRIP site and I will publish the text of the best nominations.

This data is going to be a central the project so I would really appreciate you taking the time to help out.

Here are the criteria:

  • Each case must either be a domestic case (that is, one decided by a UK court) or a European Court of Human Rights case that involves the UK or has had a significant impact on the UK. The case can be 2 days or 30 years old.
  • The focus must be on cases which have had a profound impact on people in the UK – the cases which you would mention first if you were explaining the importance of human rights to someone who knows nothing about the concept.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have legal expertise or are just starting out as a law student. I want to capture as broad a range of nominations as possible, and that includes from lawyers and academics with different specialisms, e.g. housing law, mental health, prison law etc.
  • I would also be happy to accept nominations from groups of people or organisations.

Here is how to submit your nominations:

  • You can submit as few as one or as many as 50 nominated cases. Please try to nominate at least 10 if you can.
  • Name the case and its date (ideally using its full citation and a link to BAILII, e.g. Smith v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 1234 (Admin) – you can find the citations at the top of the case report on BAILII)
  • Each nominated case should be accompanied by a short rationale (no more than 50 words per case). Try the keep it simple – as if you were explaining the case to someone who doesn’t know anything about human rights.
  • List the nominated cases in order of importance (with number 1 being the most important).
  • Start the email with a one-line biography (e.g. “I am a law student at Birmingham University”)

I really appreciate the help. I will publish the results on this blog and of course on the new HRIP site, which is shaping up very nicely – launch is going to be this Spring. Follow @rights_info on Twitter to keep posted.

12 comments


  1. […] duly responded to Adam Wagner’s call for suggestions for the fifty most important human rights cases – though inspiration failed […]

  2. […] was my attempt to answer Adam Wagner’s request for a list of the fifty human rights cases absolutely everyone should know about. Inspiration […]

  3. […] of launching a new Human Rights Information Project, as part of which he is crowdsourcing “50 human rights cases absolutely everyone needs to know about“. Adam has asked for suggestions to be sent to humanrightsinformationproject@gmail.com by […]

  4. Maggie Beirne says:

    I have forwarded onto other friends for specific cases but thought I’d point out the humorous take of a recent Amnesty Internatioanl article talking about Paddington Bear as an immigrant and some of the advantages he might benefit from in the HRA nowadays.

  5. katesjc6189 says:

    Reblogged this on Supporting UK Justice: For the Defence! by a layman and commented:
    I think this is a great idea.
    I must admit I am ignorant of Human Rights Cases but this strikes me as a great idea hence reblogging on my Lay Law Blog site.
    nb i am tempted to get Kindle Version of Key HR Cases just so I can join in!!!

  6. Great idea Adam, well done for this! We developed experiential human rights training as diverse people who had experienced social exclusion, so will definitely be talking with people about which was the most important case to them and getting back to you with our answers!!

    1. Adam Wagner says:

      Thanks, looking forward to reading

  7. markpummell says:

    what format do you want Adam; as body text to the e-mail or is an attached pdf ok?

    1. Adam Wagner says:

      Body text please

  8. Sarahchingapa says:

    Great will properly draft and send on but if I may ask,
    What is the main idea of this project?

    What are the benefits (not monetary though) to me as a lay woman?

    When featuring in your project are there there any pictorials based on the contributions?

  9. somjee medicolegal services says:

    Somjee v UK from ECHR

    1. Adam Wagner says:

      Please submit by email or we can’t use this. Thanks

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