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Challenges To The Human Rights Act Notes

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A more recent version of these Challenges To The Human Rights Act notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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Challenges to the Human Rights Act _______________________________________________________

Touchy topics The government (especially under May) is loathed to surrender national powers over the following:
?????Immigration
?????Ejecting people
?????Anti-terrorism
?????Surveillance
?????Prisoner voting rights The balancing act that is happening is between liberty and national security - the 'unhappy' fact of fundamental freedoms is that everyone is entitled to them, even the most evil man on earth. This seems to baffle a great number of politicians who believe in a more quid pro quo social model - rights in return for allegiance & submission to the laws. Maybe we should return to kissing the ring of the King in exchange for a plot of land eh?
This boils down to a shoot-out between parliamentary sovereignty and the thick rule of law which restrains the government from doing certain things. However the issue with the thick rule of law, of course, is that it must be administered on a practical level by the courts. It is a justifiable criticism that judges should not be law-makers as this unsettles the separation of powers. It is, of course, also a democratic issue. The debate centres around a movement away from political constitutionalism (determined by an elected dictatorship executive) -> legal constitutionalism (administered by the judiciary). 2012 Commission on a Bill of Rights Arguments in favour of a UK Bill of Rights: a) The Human Rights Act is inadequate. a. the Human Rights Act is perceived negatively (regardless of whether this perception is informed/ justified or illinformed/unjustified); b. the current system under the Human Rights Act has resulted in unpopular judicial and related decisions; and c. a UK Bill of Rights would be more effective than the Human Rights Act in protecting the rights of individuals. b) A UK Bill of Rights would be more 'British' and less 'European'. a. a UK Bill of Rights would result in greater domestic 'ownership' of rights; rights would be less 'foreign'; and

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