Tag Archives: echr

Five ideas to fight for

Five ideasAnthony Lester, the Liberal Democrat peer, lawyer and “the most eminent human rights lawyer in Britain” has been interviewed by the Huffington Post.  He highlights how, as a Jew, he was exposed to prejudice and discrimination from a young age, starting with the loss of relatives in the Holocaust, and later in the army when he was barred from attending a dance in the officer’s mess to “prevent miscegenation”.

As a barrister he devoted a large amount of his life to combating discrimination, and he also worked with Roy Jenkins, then Labour Home Secretary, on developing laws against race and sex discrimination. Later he fought for the Human Rights Act.

Anthony’s new book Five Ideas To Fight For will be published this week. He focuses on the ‘big ideas’ of human rights, equality, free speech, privacy and rule of law. He is very worried about the future of the Human Rights Act, which the current government is planning to repeal and replace with a British Bill of Rights.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Conference Countdown 2015: Human Rights motion – we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water

As many will know, there is an excellent motion on Human Rights to be debated at the Bournemouth conference. I have set out the motion below this post.

I have one query which readers may be to help me with.

It pertains to this section of the motion:

Conference resolves to:
…C. Retain the Human Rights Act unless it is replaced with a Bill of Rights which incorporates and builds on those rights set out in the ECHR and oppose any attempts by Conservatives to introduce a British Bill of Rights which does not achieve this.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: It took a day to lose those seats in Parliament – it can take a day to win them back

The following was first submitted to LDV as a comment. The team felt it was worth publishing as a full post. The author gave his permission for this.

I write this as a new member awaiting the paperwork. I joined the party because I am pro European (accepting a need for increased reform & democratic accountability), am absolutely appalled with the prospect that a Conservative government might withdraw this country from the ECHR and because I cannot reconcile democracy with government access to personal emails. In addition I was impressed with the Liberal Democrat record in Government and the performance of Liberal Democrat Ministers.

Given the post election scenario which I, like many, found shocking I appreciate that rebuilding is required, but I feel that this may be easier than many think.

Firstly, the Conservatives made commitments in the election campaign that will be hard to deliver without some drastic cuts. The electorate will be able to see what the Liberal Democrats in government prevented the Conservatives from trying to introduce. We have already seen this in action. There was no mention of the HRA in the Queens Speech – it is clear that the campaign that the Liberal Democrats have run, combined with some high profile noises from the Conservative back benches and legal community, has revealed the home truth, that they would have a hell of a fight on their hands. The objection should be the withdrawal from the ECHR which this country and a Conservative government helped form in the first place.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 49 Comments

Why has Nick Clegg backed plan to deprive terror suspects of citizenship?

A last-minute government amendment to the Immigration Bill which would give the Home Secretary the power to deprive terror suspects of British citizenship even if it would make them stateless has made all the headlines. Well, the cynic in me suggests that it neatly deflects attention from the abject failure of David Cameron to keep his right-wing backbenchers under control. So far he hasn’t been able to stop Dominic Raab and Nigel Mills from tabling amendments which, if passed, would render the Bill illegal as far as the European Convention on Human Rights is concerned. He is unlikely to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 32 Comments

Opinion: Rearguard action and damage limitation are poor substitutes for a coherent Liberal Democrat strategy on Equality and Human Rights.

The Government’s partial U-turn on Section 3 of the Equality Act needs to be seen against a backdrop of other changes to the equality and related social justice legislation. These include:

•          New restrictions on the ability to challenge the state with restrictions to judicial review

•          Tribunals fees of up to £1,200 coming in this summer

•          An Increase of the general unfair dismissal qualification from 1 to 2 years

•          Reductions in the consultation period for redundancy

•          The end of crucial protections in discrimination such as questionnaires and protection from 3rd party harassment

•          Legal aid providers and face to face legal advice slashed …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

In other news… the NHS, human rights and levels of spending

Liberal Democrats seek changes to health reformThe Observer on the aftermath of the party’s spring conference vote on the NHS.

“Nick Clegg has just won a powerful victory over the Conservatives, appointing a Bill of Rights commission which is certain to leave the ECHR intact” – The Spectator has the news.

And in The Independent, Dominic Lawson is unimpressed with some of the comments made about public spending:

As Dr Tim Morgan points out in his incisive Centre for Policy Studies pamphlet, Five Fiscal Fallacies, “No one should imagine that the Coalition’s plans amount to a major reversal

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: The UK cannot afford paralysis in its relationship with Europe

The world is becoming increasingly ‘globalised’ and interdependent, driven by technological innovation and the now virtually unlimited movement of people and capital. This has opened up extraordinary opportunities for businesses and individuals all around the world, but it also poses many problems for national policy makers and governments.

Perhaps the most important and publicised change brought about thus far by the global age is the rise of China and India as economic powerhouses. China is now the second largest economy in the world and will overtake the United States to be the biggest in a couple …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 28 Comments
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