A Magna Carta for all Humanity
Homing in on Human Rights
Routledge – 2016 – 304 pages
Routledge – 2016 – 304 pages
The year 2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John of England at Runnymede. Yet 2015 will also see the British general election partly fought over the issue of disenchantment with international human rights norms in the UK. For the first time since it was ratified in 1950, there is a serious call to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with at least two mainstream parties (the Conservatives and UKIP) committed to repealing the UK’s Human Rights Act (HRA), passed in 2000 to incorporate the rights in the ECHR into UK law. If the UK cannot live with universal human rights norms incorporated in its law can it realistically expect other states to do so?
This book illuminates the contemporary debate in the UK over this country’s future adherence to international human rights norms through the prism of the ethic of human rights. The evolving discourse on human rights standards and values – the moral framework for public life that they evoke - will be deconstructed and analyzed as a recurring backdrop to current human rights disputes in the UK.
The book will be divided into two sections. The first section will provide a context to the rest of the book by exploring the ethic of post war universal human rights. The second section ‘homes in’ on human rights ‘at home,’ giving an insider’s perspective on the background to, and purpose of, the HRA when it was introduced by the new (in every sense) Labour Government in 1998 and will be of interest to students of British Politics, Law, Human Rights and International Relations.
INTRODUCTION: The Magna Carta: marvel or myth?
SECTION ONE: HUMAN RIGHTS: A TIME TRAVELLERS’ GUIDE. 1. First stop: in search of British values. 2. Fast -forward to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 3. Exploring the Human Rights Ethic. 4. The meaning of ‘universal’. 5. Conclusion: inspiration or foundation? Section One Anthology of other work by the author.
SECTION TWO: WHEN UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS HIT HOME: THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT CONTROVERSY UNCUT. 6. The disputed parentage of the ECHR. 7. On the road to the HRA. 8. Principles and values. 9. Critiques and Controversies. 10. Back to the future? 11. Conclusion: Human Rights: endgame or lit flame? Section Two Anthology of other work by the author.
Professor Francesca Klug is a Professorial Research Fellow and Director of the Human Rights Futures Project at the LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights. As a Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Incorporation Project at King’s College Law School in the 1990s she advised the government on the model for incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law reflected in the Human Rights Act. Francesca was a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2006-09 and was a member of the small Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Reference Group at the Ministry of Justice from 2007-09. She has written widely on human rights and her publications include Common Sense: Reflections on the Human Rights Act, (Liberty, 2010) Values for a Godless Age: the story of the UK's New Bill of Rights (Penguin, 2000), and The Three Pillars of Liberty: political rights and freedoms in the UK (with Keir Starmer and Stuart Weir , Routledge, 1996). Francesca is a member of Political Quarterly’s editorial board and co-edited (with Jane Gordon) a Special Issue of the European Human Rights Law Review to mark the 10th anniversary of the Human Rights Act in 2010.