human rights

Same-sex marriage: the US, Europe and the Obergefell questions

June 25, 2015

The US Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v Hodges – it may come out today, or next week – will be historic whatever it decides. The main question is whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution with its guarantee of the “equal protection of the laws” requires states to allow same-sex marriage. Either it […]

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Why Michael Gove must think carefully about the Human Rights Act

May 26, 2015

A fair amount’s been written about the problems ministers face as they aim to “scrap” the Human Rights Act (to use the words of the 2015 Conservative manifesto). Replacing the Act as it applies in Scotland probably breaches the convention that Westminster does not normally legislate on a devolved matter (which human rights is) without the Scottish […]

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April 22, 2015

RightsInfo is a new website devoted to information about and advocacy for human rights. It’s the brainchild of Adam Wagner, the barrister and founder the the UK Human Rights Blog; and has a considerable team behind it. It tells us what human rights do for us, and tackles the 14 worst human rights myths. Over the next […]

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Britain’s got its way on prisoners’ votes – so why withdraw from the ECHR?

February 11, 2015

In yesterday’s judgment on 1,015 “legacy” applications, the European Court of Human Rights ruled once again that the legislative bar on prisoners’ voting breaches article 3 of the first protocol to the European Convention. That result was predictable given the Court’s case law on votes for prisoners. But more importantly, the Court awarded none of these […]

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Dominic Grieve: I am not a lone voice crying in the wilderness

December 4, 2014

The Conservative debate on human rights is “very far from over”, Dominic Grieve told an audience of lawyers last night, as he strongly criticised his party’s recent policy paper – saying he was not sure a key aspect of it “was really intended as a serious proposal”. There are “plenty” of Conservative supporters of human rights, […]

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The PM’s “foreign fighters” plan: probably lawful

November 14, 2014

Overnight in Australia, the Prime Minister announced new counter-terrorism powers which he intends to introduce in a bill in the next few weeks. He said there’d be New powers for police at ports to seize passports, to stop suspects travelling and to stop British nationals returning to the UK unless they do so on our […]

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UK Supreme Court judgment: R (Chester) v Justice Secretary, McGeoch v Lord President

October 16, 2013

It’s no surprise that the Supreme Court has today unanimously dismissed appeals by two prisoners who wanted various remedies under the Human Rights Act and EU law for being denied the vote in Parliamentary, local, Scottish Parliament and European election. These cases were always weak. Lord Mance gave the leading judgment and all the justices […]

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Even in a niqab, the defendant must be heard

September 19, 2013

I’m no friend of the niqab. It’s the symbol of an oppressive ideology, and I look forward to its disappearance from the streets of Britain (which I think likely in my lifetime) and everywhere. I doubt a total ban’s a good idea here, but I support the right of employers and schools to prevent their […]

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The niqab ruling: my detailed comments

September 19, 2013

Here’s Monday’s ruling by His Honour Judge Peter Murphy, that a female Muslim defendant at Blackfriars Crown Court may not give evidence wearing a niqab, or face veil. If you click on the highlighted phrases in the document, either in the viewer below or in fullscreen view (click on the bottom left of the viewer) you’ll […]

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Alan Turing: the stain should not be erased

July 22, 2013

The government has said it will support Lord Sharkey’s bill aimed at giving a posthumous statutory pardon to Alan Turing for an offence under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. Here’s a transcript of Friday’s second reading debate in the House of Lords. And here’s the bill. I need say nothing about Turing’s […]

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