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Derbyshire Activity for the Human Rights Act

Derbyshire Activity for the Human Rights Act

Motivated by the strident, often deceitful, press coverage of the UK Human Rights Act (1998), we coordinated two events in November 2010 and October 2011 to facilitate better public understanding of the European Convention and of the Act. The events took the form of open seminars, with introductory talks about the Convention and the Act, followed by case-based, parallel group discussions. The second of the two meetings was coordinated jointly with AI-Derby and the University of Derby Law School, which was one of the first in the country to teach human rights law to all its students. 

A stellar array of professionals from local university law departments, law companies, local authorities and NGOs assisted with the introductory explanations, and with the case-based group discussions.  (See attached 'Program and Presenters')

Some of the cases discussed, for example those about foreign national criminals, had gained notoriety, at least in part through the (frequently inaccurate) press coverage and sometimes through politicians' remarks. In reverse, some cases had received little press attention, but were such that they would be likely to win public support for the Act, for example cases about local authorty accommodation that was verging on degrading.  It was striking that the discussion group members , including the groups just mentioned, supported the judges' rulings made under the HRA, and this was the case even in respect of judgements about foreign criminals.

These two meetings with their explanations and case-based discussions then formed the basis for our submission to the Government appointed Commission on a British Bill of Rights, which is currently deliberating. Our submission urges the Commission to recommend that any Bill of Rights maintain the powers of the Human Rights Act, especially in view of the strength of support even for judgements that allow foreign convicts to remain in Britain. (For submission, see attached 'Derbyshire Activity for the Human Rights Act', which also shows the array of cases discussed).


Derbyshire Activity for the HRA: submission to the Commission on a British Bill of Rights

Programs and expert presenters at our HRA meetings, 11-2010 & 10-2011

Myths about the HRA

Useful links about the HRA




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