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Rewriting our rights? Human rights and the UK constitution

On Monday 12 November 2012, the British Academy Policy Centre held this event in conjunction with the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) and the EDF Research Network.

On Monday 12 November 2012, the British Academy Policy Centre held this event in conjunction with the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) and the EDF Research Network.

Tumultuous and politicised debate about human rights protections in the UK led the Government to appoint a Commission on a Bill of Rights to consider the future of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the possibility of introducing a British Bill of Rights. As the UK awaits the Commission’s report to be published at the end of the year, the British Academy, the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) and the EDF Research Network held an open discussion on developments around human rights in the UK.

The event considered how those who campaign, research or make policy on this issue should build their respective cases using solid and effective evidence and covered:

  • criticisms of the Human Rights Act and whether they have any grounds;
  • the cost of tampering with a functioning system;
  • the legal complexities surrounding this issue;
  • what a new Bill of Rights might mean for the UK. 

The speakers were:

  • Professor Sandra Fredman QC, Oxford University, EDF Research Network co-chair, and member of the British Academy steering group for the report (Chair)
  • Colm O’Cinneide, Reader in Law, UCL, and author of the report, Human Rights and the UK Constitution
  • Sarah Isal, Director, UK Race & Europe Network /Deputy Director, Runnymede
  • Joshua Rozenberg, legal commentator
  • Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Mind  

Related Information: 

The full report ‘Human rights and the UK constitution’ can be downloaded here.

Professor Vernon Bogdanor CBE FBA discusses the vital role of the public in the human rights debate.

Professor Conor Gearty FBA discusses the case for prisoner voting and complying with the European Court of Human Rights.

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