Spiritual Influence and Human Rights at Sea: the Weekly Round-up – Hannah Lynes

4 May 2015 by

Rescue of migrants

Photo Credit: The Guardian

In the news

The drowning of several hundred migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean has dominated headlines in recent weeks, prompting a special meeting of the European Council on 23 April. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has called for ‘a robust search-and-rescue operation in the Central Mediterranean, not only a border patrol’.

Under the ECHR, migrants rescued at sea cannot be returned if there is a ‘real risk’ of treatment that is incompatible with the absolute provisions of the Convention. Jacques Hartmann and Irini Papanicolopulu consider claims that human rights law therefore creates a perverse incentive for EU Member States not to conduct operations proactively.

Other news

Electoral law has been the subject of much commentary following the removal of Lutfur Rahman from his position as Mayor of Tower Hamlets. In a strongly-worded judgment issued by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC, Mr Rahman was found to have engaged in corrupt and illegal practices contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983. The BBC reports here.

Particular controversy has surrounded the finding that Mr Rahman was guilty of ‘undue spiritual influence’, on account of Muslim clerics participating in his campaign ‘to persuade Muslim voters that it was their religious duty to vote for him’ [para. 564]. Writing in the Guardian, Giles Fraser is critical of what he deems to be an application of a law ‘that was developed to subdue Irish Roman Catholics… to a contemporary religious minority that is suffering from a very similar brew of racism and hostility.’ Martin Downs of 1COR comments on the decision for UKHRB.


  • The Constitution Society and UK Constitutional Law Association paper, “‘Common Sense’ or Confusion? The Human Rights Act and the Conservative Party”, is available online. Stephen Dimelow and Alison L Young scrutinise Conservative Party proposals for Britain’s human rights laws.
  • ‘Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity’: a Justice Working Party report sets out recommendations for improved access to justice in the current political climate. Ruchi Parekh provides a summary of the proposals for the UK Constitutional Law Blog.

In the courts

Disciplinary proceedings brought against an employee did not amount to unlawful discrimination because of her religion. An Employment Tribunal found that although treatment of the Claimant occurred in the context of her religious acts, the reason for the treatment was because her acts amounted to an abuse of authority. Article 9 of the ECHR (holding and manifesting religious belief) did not give an employee a complete and unfettered right to discuss or act on their religious beliefs at work.

Frank Cranmer considers the decision in Law & Religion UK.

The Upper Tribunal considered whether a subsequent assertion of a human rights breach was sufficient to generate a right of appeal under the Immigration Act 2014. The Tribunal held that it could do so only if accepted as a ‘fresh claim’ by the Secretary of State.

Barrister Colin Yeo analyses the case for the Free Movement Blog, and argues that it was incorrectly decided.

Rights Info

This week has been a busy one for RightsInfo. Mathias Cheung reacts to the project launch on Oxford Human Right Hub, whilst a brand new film on the initiative can be seen here.


Oxford Human Rights Hub is to host the launch of Dr Tarunabh Khaitan’s book: A Theory of Discrimination Law. The event will take place on the 29 May at Rhodes House, Oxford. More information can be found here.

UK HRB posts

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

Hannah Lynes

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.




Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals Anne Sacoolas 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 blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board care homes 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 law communications competition confidentiality consent conservation constitution contact order contact tracing contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus coronavirus act 2020 costs costs budgets Court of Protection covid crime criminal law Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation DEFRA deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention Dignitas diplomacy diplomatic relations disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment 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 Facial Recognition Family Fatal Accidents Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage gay rights Gaza Gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Gun Control hague convention Harry Dunn Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Human Rights Watch Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests insurance international law internet inuit Iran Iraq Ireland islam Israel Italy IVF ivory ban Japan joint enterprise judaism judicial review Judicial Review reform Julian Assange jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid legal aid cuts Leveson Inquiry lgbtq liability Libel Liberty Libya lisbon treaty Lithuania local authorities marriage Media and Censorship mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery morocco murder music Muslim nationality national security naturism neuroscience NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges nuisance Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury physician assisted death Piracy Plagiarism planning planning system Poland Police Politics Pope press prison Prisoners prisoner votes Prisons privacy procurement Professional Discipline Property proportionality prosecutions prostituton Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries quarantine Radicalisation refugee rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania round-up Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials sexual offence shamima begum Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance sweatshops Syria Tax technology Terrorism The Round Up tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine universal credit universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Weekly Round-up Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe


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: