human rights


Back to basics: why a public authority can’t be an HRA victim

17 October 2013 by

SLMRightToProtestFrontSmall.previewDavid Mead, in an interesting post – here – about “publicness” in section 6 of the Human Rights Act, looks at a case in which the Olympic Delivery Agency got an injunction against protesters: Olympic Delivery Authority v Persons Unknown . The ODA was a public authority, and the protesters were advancing defences under Articles 10 (freedom of expression) and 11 (freedom of association). Arnold J dismissed the defences on the basis that these rights needed to be balanced against the ODA’s rights to property under A1P1

As Mead points out, the judge was probably wrong to do so. On the face of it, the ODA had no rights under the Convention, under A1P1 or otherwise, because it was a public authority, and was likely to be acting as such in its protester-clearing role. One can perhaps save the judge’s blushes, by a slightly different route. The right of free speech under Article 10(1) has to be balanced against the protection of the rights of others under Article 10(2), and the latter would cover the ODA’s property rights which it was enforcing.

But the more fundamental question is why public authorities (think local authorities or NHS Trusts) cannot complain that they are HRA victims. After all, they can be unfairly dumped on by central government, can be lied about, can have their finances cut, their functions or their premises taken away (hospital unit closures), can receive an unfair trial, and ultimately lose their “life” in some governmental reorganisation.

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EU employment rights law trumps diplomatic immunity – what next?

15 October 2013 by

European-Union-Flag_1Benkharbouche v Embassy of the Republic of Sudan (Jurisdictional Points: State Immunity) [2013] UKEAT 0401_12_0410 4 October 2013 – read judgment

These appeals, heard at the same time, raise the question whether someone employed in the UK by a foreign diplomatic mission as a member of its domestic staff may bring a claim to assert employment rights against the country whose mission it is, despite being met by an assertion of State Immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978. The EAT regarded itself bound by the supremacy of EU law to disapply the SIA, despite the fact that it had no jurisdiction to do so under the 1998 Human Rights Act.

This is the first time that the full force of the rights contained in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms has made itself felt in a domestic dispute between private parties (although the embassies themselves are state institutions, as an employment dispute the matter is one of private law only). If upheld on appeal, this ruling will have consequences that extend far beyond the somewhat esoteric area of the immunity of diplomatic missions, and will make the effect of the Human Rights Act look puny by comparison (as pointed out by Joshua Rozenberg  in his post on this case).
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Misleading Media, Immigration Snakes and Ladders and Human Rights Endurance – The Human Rights Roundup

14 October 2013 by

snakes HRBWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular full brass band of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can  find previous roundups herePost by Sarina Kidd, edited and links compiled by Adam Wagner.

This week, Lord Neuberger implied that even if the Human Rights Act were to be abolished, the court would continue to uphold human rights, perhaps foreshadowing the Supreme Court’s decision in Osborn. Meanwhile, the controversial Immigration Bill  now has its overarching documents available, LSE are looking to create a written constitution and the Daily Mail are in trouble, again.


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Convicted prisoner has no entitlement to all the rights enjoyed by others

14 October 2013 by

prison2aCossey, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice [2013] EWHC 3029 (Admin) – read judgment

The High Court has dismissed an “absolutely meritless” claim by a prisoner that, in serving the non-tariff part of his sentence, he should be afforded all the Convention rights enjoyed by prisoners on remand or those serving time for civil offences such as contempt of court.  As he had been deprived of the full panoply of rights, he said, he was a victim of discrimination contrary to Article 14.

This, said Mostyn J, was

 The sort of claim that gives the Convention, incorporated into our domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998, a bad name and which furnishes its critics with ammunition to shoot it down.

Were the key architect of the Convention, Lord Kilmuir, alive today, continued the judge, “he would be amazed to be told that a claim for violation of Article 14 was being advanced on the facts of this case.”
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Challenging adoption order using human rights

2 October 2013 by

Adoption blueThe recently released statistics from the Department for Education showing an increase of 15% in the adoption of looked after children in the last year further highlights the government’s preferred strategy for ensuring the welfare of children in care.

In my recent post, I considered the main thrust of the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re B-S which concerned the rigour which was expected of evidence, hearings and Judgments before a Placement Order was made.

However, the Court also dealt with the issue which had concerned Lord Justice McFarlane  when he gave permission to appeal  namely, where a Court has already made an order that a child may be placed for adoption and that has happened and the prospective adopter has applied for an Adoption Order, in what circumstances can a parent seek to stop it going ahead?

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Australian judge lays down gauntlet for the angels of human rights

25 September 2013 by

PrintJ.D. Heydon: Are Bills of Rights necessary in common law systems?   – read lecture

Former Australian High Court Justice Heydon’s thought-provoking speech questioning the efficacy and indeed the very merits of the Human Rights Act deserves reading in full, but the following summary highlights its main features and should encourage readers to immerse themselves in the lecture.

Proponents of human rights instruments urge their necessity on society because they gesture toward a morality more capacious than the morality of our tribe, or association, or nationality. The forum of human rights is one in which our allegiances are not to persons or to wished-for outcomes but to abstract norms that are indifferent to those outcomes. That is why the Human Rights Act has around it what Heydon calls an “aura of virtue” that would make its repeal extremely difficult from a political point of view, even though it is legally and practically possible.
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Judicial Review and Legal Aid under threat… and a Human Rights Birthday – The Human Rights Roundup

8 September 2013 by

birthday roundupWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular Olympic opening ceremony 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 Daniel Isenberg.

Blow out the candles and wish a very happy 60th birthday to the ECHR.  That celebration has been the cause of much reflection and commentary, including looking at the UK’s future relationship with the Convention and the Human Rights Act.  Elsewhere, the MoJ has released consultations  on new criminal legal aid plans and further proposed changes to judicial review.


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Interested in human rights? Work with Liberty!

2 September 2013 by

imageLiberty, the human rights organisation, is looking for qualified and qualifying lawyers to staff its advice line.

This is a great opportunity –  you can trust me on that, as I did it for a year whilst I was a pupil barrister. I learned a huge amount about practical human rights issues, as well as meeting some great people. The advice line  provides an essential service to those who are unlikely to be able to obtain advice anywhere else.

All details after the break below, and on this flyer (PDF).

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Legality of War, More Miranda and Judicial Review Moving Out – The Human Rights Roundup

2 September 2013 by

Assad HRRWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular glittering galaxy 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.

Military intervention in Syria has been greatly discussed this week in the media. Here, we look at how legal it would be for the UK to send troops over. Meanwhile, David Miranda’s hearing continues, and many judicial review claims are due, soon, to move from the High Court to the Upper Tribunal.


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David Miranda Special Edition – The Human Rights Roundup

26 August 2013 by

TrollWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular airport departure board of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Daniel Isenberg.

Picturing a dystopian world and totalitarian government, it is perhaps fitting that Aldous Huxley takes the title of Brave New World from lines uttered in The Tempest by the character named Miranda.  It is a different Miranda who dominates this week’s news, opening the debate on Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.


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Twitter Trolls, Tribunal Online (Finally), Don’t go Home – The Human Rights Roundup

19 August 2013 by

TrollWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular menagerie of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Sarina Kidd.

This week, judicial review continued to take a beating, the Home Office backed down over their ‘Go Home’ campaign and the legal implications behind the twitter threat debacle were considered. And, finally, the immigration and asylum tribunal launched a useful online search service.


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Go Home, Legal Aid and Mental Capacity – The Human Rights Roundup

12 August 2013 by

Home office Go Home or Face ArrestWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular non-silly season of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Daniel Isenberg.

The end of the legal term seemingly does not mean a let-up in immigration news, with a number of Home Office, asylum and immigration-related stories making the headlines.  Also, the back-and-forth on legal aid cuts continues, as well as some interesting perspectives on the Mental Capacity Act, sexual offences trials and the FOIA veto. Some interesting judgments too, particularly on secret trials.


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Disability Discrimination, Judicial Review Standing and Right to Die – The Human Rights Roundup

4 August 2013 by

Paul Lamb (credit- Guardian)Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular heat wave of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Sarina Kidd.

A fairly quiet week in terms of volume, but nevertheless some notable  issues. Of note are plans to restrict judicial review, the ‘bedroom tax’ judgment, and a key decision in the ongoing debate on assisted suicide.


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Immigrants Go Home, the Third Source & Judicial Review Standing Changes – The Human Rights Roundup

29 July 2013 by

Human rights roundup (IGH)Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular social media storm of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Daniel Isenberg.

With the judges winding down for their end of term break, this is not such a busy week of news; so instead a good opportunity to think over the role of the European Convention on Human Rights.  Various immigration stories keeping the commentators busy, if not making the headlines; and keep up-to-date in public law with the latest from the ALBA conference.

Reminder: there is a Rally for Legal Aid  tomorrow, Tuesday 30 July, 4:30-6:30 at the Old Bailey. Full details here.


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Putting a ring on it, Constitutional Carnage and Court Transparency – The Human Rights Roundup

23 July 2013 by

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 08.21.56Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular summer thunderstorm of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Sarina Kidd.

This week, the government’s controversial legislation on same sex marriage received Royal Assent. And, as we welcome a new royal baby, less glamorous facets of the UK’s constitutional arrangements have been in the news.


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Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Allison Bailey 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 Coroners costs court of appeal Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention diplomatic immunity disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of candour duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Employment Law Employment Tribunal enforcement 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 football foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health high court 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 legality Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage Maya Forstater mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery monitoring 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 public law rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo Right to assembly 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 sexual orientation 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 UK Supreme Court unduly harsh united nations USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
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