“Pan troglodytes”, politics and other human rights proposals – the Weekly Roundup

26 April 2015 by


ape-human-02In the news:

“If the Conservatives come back into power it’s revolution time”. These are the words of ex-Court of Appeal judge Sir Antony Hooper at a legal aid protest rally on Thursday, as he called for lawyers to ‘walk-out’ in the event of a Conservative victory. At the same rally another senior judge, Sir Alan Moses, lamented that all political parties are ignoring “the plight of those who [cannot] afford a lawyer” – citing that only the Greens have pledged to reverse the cuts to legal aid.

However, academic Graham Gee warns against using disrespectful rhetoric when analysing the Tory manifesto. He argues people should avoid “creating an impression that [Conservative] proposals are beyond-the-pale and reflective only of short-term, self-interested calculations”.

In other political news, Justice.org hosted a debate between Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative representatives. The debate is summarised here or available in full here. Mark Eliot analyses comments made at the debate by Lord Faulks (Conservative), concluding that the manifesto masks “more-radical [human rights] proposals”, although realpolitik will prevent them from being implemented.

For anyone wanting more information on the various manifestos, The Justice Gap has put together an excellent summary – covering Labour, Lib Dems, Conservatives, Greens and UKIP.

Nonhuman Rights Project: NhRP came close to making legal history by having two chimpanzees recognised as legal persons. An American judge first issued a writ of habeas corpus on their behalf, before retracting it later citing an “inaccurate press release” (compare the Order before and after). Nonetheless, this is still a huge development for NhRP: they are guaranteed a day in court and the burden now switches to the defendant (Stony Brook University) to provide a legally acceptable reason for ‘unlawfully imprisoning’ the two chimps. The story is analysed by Wired: “a precedent is set that a chimp is person enough to deserve a hearing”. Read NhRP’s statement here.

Alex Wessely

Other news

  • Human Rights Watch: Azerbaijan has sentenced two human rights campaigners to 7.5 and 6.5 years jail respectively, on “bogus” charges. According to a report by Protection of Human Rights Defenders, this is part of a “crackdown” on human rights as Azerbaijan prepares to host the European Games.  Despite this, Team GB are “delighted” to be sending 153 athletes to the games, and Bernie Ecclestone has no concerns either.
  • BBC: The German president has described the killings of 1.5m Armenians in 1915 as “genocide”.
  • Labour promises to make the UK a haven for LGBT asylum seekers.
  • The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights has criticised the UK tabloid press, comparing Katie Hopkins´article on migrant deaths to the rhetoric used in the Rwandan Genocide.

Rights Info


A transgender woman has lost her attempt to retrospectively change the birth certificate of her first child to reflect that she is no longer a “father”. Rosalind English analyses the case, and its Article 8 implications, here.

A french lawyer trying to assist his client in a police station was subjected to a full body search, blood alcohol test and placed in custody himself. The European Court of Human Rights found that this violated his Article 5 (right to liberty) rights.

In a blistering judgement, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets has been kicked out of office for “corrupt and illegal practices”. Richard Mawrey QC concluded that Mr Rahman showed “ruthless ambition”, shamelessly played the “race card” to falsely paint his opponents as racist and showed undue spiritual influence to convince voters that it was their “duty as Muslims” to elect him. The case is covered by the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph, among others.


  • Kings College London and the universities of Bologna and Strasbourg are hosting a Summer school between 28 June and 3 July on “The Protection of Fundamental Rights in Europe“. It is to be held in an Italian castle, and you can register here.


If you would like your event to be mentioned on the Blog, please email Jim Duffy at jim.duffy@1cor.com


  1. I am really inspired with your writting talents
    and also with the structure oon your blog. Is this a paid topic orr did
    you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice high
    quality writing, it is uncommon to peer a nicfe weblog like this one today..

  2. Hello! Woulkd you mind if I share your blog with my twaitter group?

    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your
    content. Please let me know. Manny thanks

    1. please do

  3. CharlesT Lawson says:

    According to section 61 of the Magna Charta ,all people are to have a fair trial by twelve jurers of their peers, We the British people are not even getting a fair courtcase/hearing because of the financial position of people today . Even when some one is wrongly accused ,Its a nighmare trying to get your self listened to ,
    The people will not stand for this type of agenda ,For the Goverment to cause people to revolt just so they can throw in the military dressed police to ” calm ” things down will be a agenda done on purpose. for thier own benefit.

  4. John says:

    With regard to the New York court action resulting in a writ being issued for the release of two chimpanzees in the US, this court action may well be deployed by anti-abortionists in the US if it subsequently is successful. Would that be a good result?

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.




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.


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: