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.
Table of Contents
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.
Keith 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