Human Rights Issues Brought to Fore at University of Leicester Law Lecture
rights issues in the UK were addressed in a lecture hosted by the
University of Leicester on Thursday 14 November.
Wadham, Director of Liberty, delivered the Faculty of Law’s Annual Law
School Lecture in the Ken Edwards Building. The lecture was completely free and open to the
lecture a programme was set out to extend human rights protection in the UK.
Liberty made four key proposals:
incorporation of those ECHR protocols not yet ratified by the UK.
Ratification of further
international treaties which contain human rights protection missing from the
Incorporation of at least
some of these “missing” rights into domestic law
A domestic Bill of Rights
entrenched in the law to protect our rights from any future erosion. This
proposal also considers whether the current regime goes far enough in protecting
the liberty or freedom of action of individuals. It is proposed that a right to
freedom of action would be the most effective and appropriate method of further
guaranteeing liberty for individuals in the UK
Human Rights Act was an important step forward for human rights protection in
this country. Liberty argues that the Act does not, however, go far enough in
bringing a full complement of “rights home”: “We welcome the forthcoming
review of the status of the UK’s position under human rights instruments and
we hope that the outcome of that review will confirm the UK’s strong
commitment to human rights.
the range of rights that UK citizens can bring to domestic courts or to
Strasbourg falls far short of the rights to which the government has already
committed itself in international law. To demonstrate true commitment to human
rights and to give the people of the UK the ability to enforce their rights we
would argue that more of these rights should be incorporated into domestic law
ideally through a domestic bill of rights.
would also argue the rights of individual petition under international treaties
such as the ICCPR should be extended to UK citizens to give a hearing and an
effective remedy where this is not possible under the domestic system.
we would argue that this country’s long standing commitment to liberty and
freedom is not adequately protected in the current system. We propose that this
is remedied by an explicit right to freedom of action within the human rights
Liberty is an
independent human rights organisation which works to defend and extend rights
and freedoms in England and Wales. Founded
in 1934, it is the largest membership organisation of its kind in Europe.
Liberty aims to secure equal rights and freedoms for everyone by:
Wadham spent six years working for law centres in London and then in 1989 he
qualified as a solicitor. He worked in private practice in a civil liberties
firm for three years before moving to Liberty. In 1992 he was promoted to the
post of Director of Law and Policy at Liberty and then in 1995 was appointed as
Director of the organisation. He was a member of the Government's Human Rights
Act Task Force and has been commissioned to train many public authorities,
senior civil servants, police officers, court staff and lawyers on the Human
Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.