Merris Amos: The UK and the European Court of Human Rights – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted November 25th, 2014 in constitutional law, courts, human rights, judgments, news by sally

‘Now that the furore of the Scottish independence referendum has passed, the attention of politicians and media has once again turned to the dangers of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In his speech to the Conservative Party Conference in late September, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that the ECtHR needed “sorting out”. Three examples of its judgments were used to support this point: the prisoner voting litigation; the limits on deporting suspected terrorists, including Abu Qatada; and the extension of the HRA to the “battle-fields of Helmand”, an issue which the ECtHR has not directly adjudicated upon although it has given judgments concerning events in Iraq. Shortly after, the Conservative Party released its proposals for changing Britain’s human rights laws. Central to this is altering the relationship between the UK and the ECtHR so that its judgments are no longer binding over the UK Supreme Court and that it is no longer able to order a change in UK law. As any law student will know, this would be a waste of time as neither is currently possible in our dualist legal system. The judgments of the ECtHR are only binding in international law. To support these proposals, five examples of ECtHR judgments are given: prisoner voting; artificial insemination rights for some prisoners; limits on the deportation of foreign nationals who have committed crimes; and limits on the deportation of foreign nationals generally. The fifth example is the recent judgment on whole life tariffs which was misleadingly and erroneously portrayed as a decision that murderers cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment. It is clear that the Conservative Party is not expecting to receive votes from prisoners (who have no vote anyway), foreign nationals or members of the armed forces who also enjoy the protection of human rights law on the “battle-fields of Helmand”.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 24th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative Powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 is a contentious and oft criticised piece of legislation, although it does have its supporters. The government and the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee have argued it has created a stable environment for longer-term government planning.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 19th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

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Human Rights: The Law – Gresham College

Posted November 18th, 2014 in constitutional law, human rights, international law, news by sally

‘An exploration of Human Rights law as it developed and which draws criticism from the general public. The audience will be invited to consider what, if anything, they complain of in what is nowadays referred to as Human Rights law. The lecture will deal with topics raised and those which are more generally the subject of criticism. Time will be allowed for (structured and time limited) contributions from the audience.’

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Gresham College, 5th November 2014

Source: www.gresham.ac.uk

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Conor Gearty: On Fantasy Island: British politics, English judges and the European Convention on Human Rights – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘My first encounter with the fantasies that underpin English public law came in the 1980s. I had just starting teaching constitutional law and was taking my first year students through Dicey: the independent rule of law; the availability of remedies to all, without fear or favour; the common law’s marvellous protection of civil liberties; how great we were, how terrible the continent; and all the rest of it. Outside the classroom, striking miners were being routinely beaten up by the police, their picketing disrupted by road blocks, their liberty eroded by mass bail conditions. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was having its marches banned and its protests inhibited by ‘no-go’ areas arbitrarily erected by the police around American bases into which it had been decided to move a new generation of nuclear weapons. Some of my students were even beaten up themselves, on a march against education cuts in London – much to their surprise given what I was teaching them.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 13th November 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Dinah Rose QC: “Give MPs a constitution crash course” – The Lawyer

Posted October 30th, 2014 in barristers, constitutional law, human rights, news, parliament, rule of law, speeches by sally

‘New Members of Parliament should be given training on the constitution and the rule of law, one of the UK’s most prominent barristers has suggested.’

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The Lawyer, 29th October 2014

Source: www.thelawyer.com

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Stop changing laws behind closed doors, say experts – The Independent

Posted October 20th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, devolution, news, referendums by sally

Leading members of the civic society call for the public to be involved in an open discussion on how we should be governed in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum

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The Independent, 19th October 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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The Rule of Law and the Future of the Sector – Attorney General’s Office

‘Attorney General speech to London Law Expos on the UK’s long commitment to the Rule of Law.’

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Attorney General’s Office, 14th October 2014

Source: www.gov.uk/ago

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The UK in the European Convention: fudge, or a shining example? – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted October 10th, 2014 in constitutional law, EC law, human rights, jurisdiction, news, treaties by sally

‘Last night’s discussion at Gray’s Inn Hall featured a panel with Dominic Grieve QC MP (formerly Attorney General), Lord Judge (formerly Lord Chief Justice), Bella Sankey (Policy Director, Liberty), Martin Howe QC (member of the Commission on a British Bill of Rights), David Anderson QC (Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation), all chaired by Shaun Ley of the BBC.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 9th October 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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The Fragility of Human Rights – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted October 6th, 2014 in constitutional law, human rights, jurisdiction, news, political parties by sally

‘The announcement this week of a new Conservative Party plan to repeal the Human Rights Act, ‘Protecting Human Rights in the UK’, has brought to a boil a cauldron of incredulity (pictured) about the Government’s attitude towards the law. The response from human rights lawyers and advocacy groups has been swift. Liberty describes the Conservative Party plan as ‘legally illiterate’. The several ways in which that is true have already been the subject of detailed exposition. Indeed, Liberty’s response is even more accurate than it might first appear. If the Conservative Party plan is legally illiterate then it is best read as a political tactic to assure its supporters that it is the party of anti-European sentiment.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 5th October 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Strasbourg court undermines democracy, says former Lord Chief Justice – Daily Telegraph

Posted October 1st, 2014 in constitutional law, human rights, judges, news by tracey

‘Lord Judge claims that European Court of Human Rights is “a dramatic and unconstitutional extension of judicial authority.” ‘

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Daily Telegraph, 1st October 2014

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Beezadhur v Independent Commission against Corruption and another – WLR Daily

Posted August 22nd, 2014 in banking, constitutional law, law reports, money laundering by tracey

Beezadhur v Independent Commission against Corruption and another; [2014] UKPC 27; [2014] WLR (D) 380

‘Where a statute aimed at the prevention of money-laundering prohibited the depositing of cash sums above a specified limit save where it was “commensurate with the lawful business activities of the customer”, a customer could not claim that cash sums above the limited regularly deposited by him from his pension were deposits from his “business activities”.’

WLR Daily, 7th August 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Judicial Speeches, Gaza Boycotts and Social Media Crimes – the Human Rights Roundup – UK Human Rights Blog

‘This week, former leaders of the Khmer Rouge face life imprisonment for crimes against humanity committed in Cambodia. In other news, the on-going conflict in Gaza sparks controversy at home, while the Lords inquiry into social media offences reaches an unexpected conclusion.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 18th August 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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What is the future for UK human rights? – Garden Court Chambers Blog

Posted August 6th, 2014 in constitutional law, human rights, international relations, news by sally

‘Human Rights analysis: What does the future hold for human rights in the UK? Stephanie Harrison QC at Garden Court Chambers warns repealing the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) would be a seriously retrograde step, that would reverberate around the world.’

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Garden Court Chambers Blog, 6th August 2014

Source: www.gclaw.wordpress.com

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MPs call for anniversary debate on ‘new Magna Carta’ – BBC News

‘The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta next year is the right time for a fresh debate on the pros and cons of a written constitution, MPs have said.’

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BBC News, 10th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill Reference by the Attorney General for England and Wales – Supreme Court

Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill Reference by the Attorney General for England and Wales [2014] UKSC 43 (YouTube)

Supreme Court, 9th July 2014

Source: www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt

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Religion, the Rule of Law and Discrimination – Gresham College

‘This address will explore the development of the law’s approach at the intersection between, on the one hand, the manifestation of religious beliefs and, on the other, the protection and promotion of secular values.
It charts the shift from the historic protection of Christian orthodoxy, through the development of anti-discrimination legislation, to the recent domestic and European legislation and case law which have provided a coherent framework for the balancing of these rights consistent with the values of the Rule of Law.’

Transcript

Gresham College, 26th June 2014

Source: www.gresham.ac.uk

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Supreme Court is supreme, says Neuberger – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted June 27th, 2014 in constitutional law, human rights, news, select committees, Supreme Court by tracey

‘No legislative change is needed to enable the Supreme Court to deviate from rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court’s president told peers today.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 25th June 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Alexander Horne and Oonagh Gay: Ending the Hamilton Affair? – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689 has been the subject of a variety of legal challenges. The Article, which provides (in modern parlance) that: “the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament” is usually considered to be a fundamental feature of the constitution and a cornerstone of parliamentary privilege.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 21st May 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Andrew Le Sueur: Imagining judges in a written UK Constitution – UK Constitutional Law Association

‘The tide of interest (among those who care about these things) in the idea of a written, codified constitution for the United Kingdom rises and falls. At the moment the tide is quite high, but certainly not high enough to flow into the estuaries of government policy making.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 14th May 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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Alexander Horne: Is there a case for greater legislative involvement in the judicial appointments process? – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted March 28th, 2014 in constitutional law, constitutional reform, judiciary, news, parliament by sally

‘The dramatic increase in public law and human rights cases coming before the UK Supreme Court (and the Appellate Committee before it) means that the UK’s top court is more frequently determining essentially socio-political questions. In addition, in recent years, the judiciary has pressed for a rather more expansive definition of judicial independence, with a greater emphasis on the institutional independence of the judiciary. This has tended to lead to more powerful leadership roles, for senior judges in particular.

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 27th March 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org

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