- Howard DavisHoward DavisReader in Public Law, Bournemouth University
Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, discussion points and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter discusses the idea of human rights, as well as a range of political and constitutional issues to which they give rise. The general history of the international protection of human rights from which the UK system is derived is also introduced. The chapter furthermore presents examples of human rights abuses specific to the UK that are, to some extent, at the mild end of the full spectrum of human rights abuses found in other parts of Europe or in the rest of the world. The concept of human rights assumes that all reasonable human beings share the feeling that, in whatever they do, they need to accord proper respect to the dignity of all individual human beings. States and governments, in particular, must ensure that individual dignity is respected in their laws and practices.