Documents to download

The scope of the discussion on human rights and civil liberties in the UK can be very widely drawn. The UK has a strong history in the development of international standards on both of these issues, having been part of the drafting process for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and for the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

This Library Note looks at human rights and civil liberties in the UK, focusing on recent political developments in these areas. It examines the Government’s plans for the repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998, and its subsequent replacement with a new British Bill of Rights, alongside issues raised by other legislative proposals such as the Investigatory Powers Bill. The Anderson Report, A Question of Trust – Report of the Investigatory Powers Review, is also examined. Other recently passed Acts of Parliament are very briefly discussed, including the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Note therefore provides context for the public and political discourse in the UK regarding the reconciling of the legislative agenda with the need to uphold certain conventions and principles of human rights, alongside the concerns of crime prevention and national security.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 provides the UK Supreme Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland with the power to depart from retained EU case law after the end of the transition period. Draft regulations, introduced by the Government in October 2020, seek to extend this power to the Court of Appeal and other equivalent courts and tribunals. This article looks at the detail of the regulations and recent scrutiny that has taken place.

  • ‘Hate crime’ is used to describe a range of criminal behaviour that a victim or other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’. There have been recent calls to extend the protected characteristics to cover sex and gender. This would see misogyny become a hate crime.