1st Edition

The Three Pillars of Liberty Political Rights and Freedoms in the United Kingdom

    400 Pages
    by Routledge

    398 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this landmark study, a thorough audit of British compliance with international human rights standards is carried out. The book identifies 42 violations and 22 near-violationsor  causes  for  concern.  It  provides  an  up-to-date  description  of  law  and  practice  withrespect to freedom of information; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly and publicprotest;  freedom  of  association  and  trade  unionism;  state  surveillance;  the  right  to  lifeand liberty; and the right to vote and stand in elections.


    This study measures political freedom in the United Kingdom specifically against aunique  Human  Rights  Index,  specially  constructed  from  international  human  rightslaws  and  jurisprudence  by  the  authors.  The  Index  is  an  important  new  tool  formonitoring  human  rights  around  the  world.  It  is  already  being  used  to  monitor  newlegislation in the UK.


    The  Three  Pillars  of  Liberty  is  the  first-ever  analysis  of  both  the  political  and  legalsystems for securing political freedom in the UK as a whole. It is the most rigorous andsystematic review of those systems yet published—and finds them wanting. It strikes atthe heart of the historic traditions of government and the rule of law in this country.This book will be essential reading for all those interested in their rights and the rightsof others.

    Part I: Introduction

    1. The British Tradition of Constitutional Rights: Political freedom in the United Kingdom

    2. Auditing Political Rights and Freedoms: The Human Rights Index

    Part 2: The UK Framework for Protecting Rights

    3. Parliamentary Scrutiny of the Executive

    4. The ‘Culture of Liberty’

    5. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

    6. How the Courts Protect Political Rights

    7. Equal Access to Political Rights

    Conclusion: ‘The British Way of Doing Things'


    Francesca Klug is a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, and a policy consultant for Charter 88. She is author of A People’s Charter, Liberty’s acclaimed Bill of Rights for the UK, and was Director of the Civil Liberties Trust.

    Keir Starmer is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, London, specialising in human rights cases. He is editor of Justice in Error, an in-depth analysis of the criminal justice system, and sat on  the  independent  inquiry  into  the  West  Midlands  Serious  Crimes  Squad. 

    Stuart Weir is Director of the Democratic Audit and Senior Research Fellow at the HumanRights Centre, University of Essex. He edited the New Statesman from 1987 to 1991 and is founder of Charter 88.

    'Vital reading for all people who want authoritative evaluation of the state of civil liberties and political rights in Britain today. The analysis is lucid, balanced and scholarly.' - Helena Kennedy QC