human rights

Will Brexit rights have direct effect? The Human Rights Act may show us the answer

August 23, 2017

The government published its latest “future partnership paper” today on “Enforcement and dispute resolution”, and most of the attention it’s gathered—and the government’s spin—has been about its “dispute resolution” aspect. In other words, what role the European Court of Justice may have in the UK’s future relations with the EU. But I want to focus on the […]

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Pannick and Lester on the “British Bill of Rights”

June 2, 2016

Lords Pannick and Lester have form for writing together on human rights, and today Pannick writes on the subject in the Times, while Lester comments in The Brief. Pannick makes fun of the long delay in producing its “Bill of Rights”: the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War, and the assessment of the case for a […]

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What is Parliamentary sovereignty, anyway?

February 23, 2016

As we await David Cameron’s sovereignty plan this week, it might help to explain what we mean by “Parliamentary sovereignty”. When we talk about Parliamentary sovereignty, we don’t mean a general notion of political sovereignty—a nation’s right to be recognised as a state, and its rulers’ power within its borders. All states have sovereignty in […]

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The UN working group’s Assange opinion

February 5, 2016

Here’s the opinion of the UN working group on arbitrary detention, which has concluded that Britain and Sweden have arbitrarily detained Julian Assange. It calls on both countries to release him, and pay him compensation. UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Assange Opinion (PDF) UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Assange Opinion (Text) I wondered […]

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Julian Assange’s submission to the UN working group

February 4, 2016

We awoke to the extraordinary news that Julian Assange had announced he’d leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London tomorrow and submit to arrest if the UN working group on arbitrary detention turned down his complaint to them. Shortly afterwards, the BBC reported that the working group has come down in his favour. That would be […]

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Miranda: the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of “terrorism”

January 19, 2016

I’ve already criticised what I think is a fundamental contradiction undermining the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the Miranda case. But there’s another aspect of the judgment that I must mention, which may well be of more lasting importance. The power used to stop and question David Miranda is conferred by paragraph 2(1) of Schedule […]

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The self-contradictory Miranda appeal ruling

January 19, 2016

I’ve been following for some time David Miranda’s challenge to the lawfulness of his questioning at Heathrow airport in 2013. I wrote shortly after his detention; I covered his application for an injunction; I published his grounds for judicial review; I live-tweeted the judicial review hearing and analysed Lord Justice Laws’s judgment against Miranda; and […]

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Law and the killing of Reyaad Khan

September 7, 2015

This afternoon in the House of Commons the Prime Minister told MPs that Reyaad Khan, the “Islamic State” fighter from Cardiff, was killed in Syria in a targeted RAF drone strike. His death was reported some days ago but it was not clear till now that it the RAF had targeted him. The case raises […]

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The Supreme Court’s JR38 judgment
— in a few sentences

July 1, 2015

In the JR38 case, the Supreme Court today dismissed the appeal of a young man who’d argued that his article 8 Convention right to respect for private life was breached where newspapers published, on the police’s request, photos of him apparently taking part in a riot, aged 14. Here’s my legal analysis, in a few sentences, of what the Justices […]

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Supreme Court: Publication of child rioter’s photo doesn’t interfere with private life

July 1, 2015

In the JR38 case, the Supreme Court today unanimously dismissed the appeal of a young man who’d argued that his article 8 Convention right to respect for private life was breached where newspapers published, on the police’s request, photos of him apparently taking part in a riot, aged 14. But the Justices were not unanimous […]

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