Merris Amos: ‘Where are we up to now on the British Bill of Rights?’ #echr

amosI fully expect anyone who has visited this blog will already know all about Dr Merris Amos’ outstanding work on the Human Rights Act (amongst other things), and so have probably been following her site ‘The Human Rights Essay’. Just in case you have not, I would love to draw it to your attention.

If I may say so, the essays are highly informative – essential reading for anyone interested in the on-going situation of the UK’s relations with Strasbourg, as well as the future of the HRA.

Dr Amos’ latest essay (title above) is a stock-take on the current situation as regards  a possible British Bill of Rights. It includes a critique of the recent (late June/ early July) Parliamentary debates on the future of/ reform of the HRA (see also here).

The site (link here) also contains much other valuable information including, for example, an analysis of the UK’s record at Strasbourg over the last year (see here).


Dr Marko Milanovic: ‘Living Instruments, Judicial Impotence, and the Trajectories of Gay Rights in Europe and in the United States’

picI’d highly recommend this blogpost on EJIL-Talk! (Living Instruments, Judicial Impotence, and the Trajectories of Gay Rights in Europe and in the United States) by Dr Marko Milanovic. Marko compares the role of the Strasbourg and US Supreme Courts against the backdrop of jurisprudence on homosexual rights.

For what is it worth,  my comments on Marko’s post follow below Continue reading

Recent Parliamentary debates on human rights law reform (30 June and 2 July, 2015)


This post reports on two recent Parliamentary debates concerning human rights law reform (the Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Future of the Human Rights Act’ (30 June 2015, column 406WH), and the House of Lords’ debate on ‘Human Rights and Civil Liberties’ (2 July 2015, column 2177)).

In what follows, firstly, I briefly examine the background to the recent debates. Next I address the debates themselves, looking first at the Westminster Hall debate, and then the House of Lords. Then I examine the responses provided by the Ministers in each House. At this stage my primary aim is to inform (although I feel I could add a great deal by way of criticism, especially in respect of the ministers’ responses, I will not do so here).

conservatives-logo.ashxBackground to the debates (1): the Conservatives’ pre-election position

Readers of this blog will be familiar with the background to the government’s plans for human rights reform (see here, including the suggested links), whilst, of course, the general debate on this goes back a long way. With respect to the government’s position, however, and very briefly, Continue reading

House of Lords’ Library Research Briefing: ‘Human Rights and Civil Liberties in the United Kingdom’

As the introduction to the above Research Briefing puts it:

“This Library Note draws on recent political developments to provide a concise background to ongoing discussions about human rights and civil liberties in the UK. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject on 2 July 2015. The scope of the discussion can be very widely drawn and so this Library Note focuses on the Government’s plans for the repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998, and its subsequent replacement with a new British Bill of Rights, alongside issues raised by other legislative proposals such as the Investigatory Powers Bill. Other recently passed Acts of Parliament are also briefly discussed, including the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015”.

The full document can be found here: