Last month, our Chair, Matthew Turner, and Vice Chair, Alannah Travers, were delighted to be joined by our Advisory Group member Professor Francesca Klug to discuss the history of the campaign for the Human Rights Act and the Labour Party's role in establishing the Act. ⚖️
A renowned human rights academic, Francesca was one of the people who played a key role in advising the Labour Government on the Act. Our conversation covered the organisations and individuals calling for an Act and how human rights sit with Labour values and the history of the Labour Party.
If you'd like to find out more about how the Labour Party came to adopt the Human Rights Act and the form it took - along with our fears for the current situation under the Conservatives - you can watch the full recording here! 👇
Recommended Further Reading:
- Shami Chakrabarti, On Liberty, Penguin (2015)
- Francesca Klug, Stuart Weir and Keir Starmer, The Three Pillars of Liberty, Routledge (2003)
- Francesca Klug, Values for a Godless Age, Penguin (2000) - Francesca Klug, A Magna Carta for All Humanity, Routledge (2015)
- Shami Chakrabarti, Francesca Klug, Helena Kennedy et al, Common Sense: Reflections on the Human Rights Act, Liberty (2010)
Other great resources:
Francesca has clarified two comments in her video:
- Lord Hailsham was Lord Chancellor in Margaret Thatcher’s government from 1979 – 1987.
- In the 2016 Human Rights Act case concerning the ‘bedroom tax’, referenced in the video ( UKSC 58) the Supreme Court commented that ‘it is common ground’ that Article 1 of Protocol 1 (A1P1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) ‘protects rights in respect of property and possessions', and that ‘housing benefit falls within its scope’. This particular case, concerning the discriminatory effect of the ‘bedroom tax’ on some disabled people, was, however, won on Article 8 grounds (the right to family life) combined with Article 14 (the right not to be discriminated against) meaning that A1P1 did ‘not require further consideration’ in this case. In the 2019 case of J.D. & A v the UK, however, also concerning the bedroom tax, the European Court of Human Rights found a violation of ECHR Article 14 in conjunction with A1P1 because the cap on housing benefit introduced by the ‘bedroom tax’ penalised the applicant for installing a ‘panic room’ after suffering extreme domestic violence. We hope you enjoy!