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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.

Chapter

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.

Chapter

One of the most important and controversial concepts that preoccupies legal and moral philosophers is that of a ‘right’. To have a right raises the distinction between what a right is, on the one hand, and what rights people actually have or should have, on the other. This is the difference between a moral and a legal right that is a recurring theme in discussions of this subject. This chapter examines the concept of rights, various theories and types of rights (including human and animal rights), and concludes with a brief exercise in ‘applied jurisprudence’ that attempts to show how apparently competing approaches to a crucial democratic right may be resolved.

Chapter

One of the most important, complex, and controversial concepts in legal theory is that of a ‘right’. Apart from the analytical discussion, there is an inevitable debate concerning the difference between what constitutes a right, on the one hand, and what rights individuals or groups actually have or should have, on the other. This distinction between analytical and normative jurisprudence recurs throughout the literature. This chapter explores the concept of rights, various theories and types of rights (including human and animal rights), and concludes with a brief exercise in ‘applied jurisprudence’ that demonstrates how ostensibly competing approaches to a central democratic right are played out.

Book

International Human Rights Law provides a concise introduction for students new to the subject. Clearly written and broad in scope, this popular text gives a concise introduction to international human rights, including regional systems of protection and the key substantive rights. The author skillfully guides you through the complexities of the subject, making it accessible to those with little or no prior legal and/or international knowledge. Key cases and areas of debate are highlighted throughout, and a wealth of references to cases and further readings are provided at the end of each chapter. The book continues to be relied upon by students worldwide as the first book to turn to for clear and accurate coverage. It discusses the United Nations; the United Nations’ organizational structure; regional protection of human rights; Europe; the Americas; Africa; key treaties and mechanisms for monitoring, implementing, and enforcing human rights; substantive rights; equality and non-discrimination; the right to life; freedom from torture; cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment; the rights to liberty of person; equality before the law; the right to a fair trial; the right to self-determination; freedom of expression; the right to work; the right to education and human rights education; minority rights; and group rights.

Chapter

The European Convention on Human Rights not only guaranteed certain rights, but also created an international Court. The Human Rights Act gives English judges dramatic but limited techniques for vindicating the Convention rights. This chapter explains what the judges in Strasbourg and in England have done with the techniques for control of administration that result from the Convention and the Human Rights Act. The chapter addresses the content and the structure of the Convention rights, the ways in which those rights are protected in English administrative law, particularly through the Human Rights Act 1998, and the tests of proportionality required by the Convention.

Chapter

This chapter examines human rights protection in the UK. It examines the reasons why the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) was enacted, the effects of the HRA, the principal mechanisms through which the HRA affords protection to human rights in UK law; the scope of the HRA; and the debate concerning the potential repeal, reform, or replacement of the HRA. The chapter also introduces the notion of human rights, including the practical and philosophical cases for their legal protection, and the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the HRA gives effect in UK law.

Chapter

The European Convention on Human Rights not only guaranteed certain rights, but also created an international Court. The Human Rights Act gives English judges dramatic but limited techniques for vindicating the Convention rights. This chapter explains what the judges in Strasbourg and in England have done with the techniques for control of administration that result from the Convention and the Human Rights Act. The chapter addresses the content and the structure of the Convention rights, the ways in which those rights are protected in English administrative law, particularly through the Human Rights Act 1998, and the tests of proportionality required by the Convention.

Chapter

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter examines the rules of international law that confer protection to individuals under the law of human rights. It first considers the role and nature of human rights law and the development of the law of human rights before turning to a discussion of the protection of human rights under the United Nations through various instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966. It also looks at the role of the UN Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council in the development of human rights law, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1966, other specialised agencies and subsidiary organs of the UN that are also involved in the promotion and protection of human rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950.

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David Harris, Michael O’Boyle, Ed Bates, and Carla Buckley

This chapter discusses Protocols 4, 6, 7, and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Protocols 4 and 7 protect a selection of civil and political rights not covered by the main Convention text and which make up for the substantive deficiencies of the Convention when compared to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Protocols 6 and 13 concern the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime and in war, respectively.

Chapter

Samantha Besson

This chapter discusses the importance of justifying human rights, particularly in response to critics. It explains the following: why we need to justify human rights; what it means to justify human rights; what the different justifications for human rights may be; and what some of the implications of the justifications of human rights may be for other key issues in human rights theory.

Chapter

Theo van Boven

This chapter discusses different human rights categories. A first categorization distinguishes civil and political rights from economic, social, and cultural rights. This distinction is, however, increasingly contested, and should not disguise the mutual relationship between these rights as essential conditions for the life and well-being of the human person. A second distinction is that between the rights of individuals and the rights of collectivities, in particular indigenous peoples. Collective rights offer parameters for the effective enjoyment of individual rights. A third distinction is that between core rights and other rights, raising the issue of whether there is a ranking among human rights as to their fundamental nature. It is argued that basic substantive rights determining the life, survival, dignity, and worth of individuals and peoples may be considered as core rights. The chapter finally discusses the question of whether ‘new human rights’ are emerging. It suggests that this question be approached with caution, and that human rights should be understood in an inclusive and newly focused manner, encompassing hitherto marginalized and excluded groups and human beings.

Chapter

This chapter is concerned with how freedoms and liberties might be protected in the UK. It begins with an attempt to distinguish between human rights and civil liberties, whilst recognizing that this is by no means a straightforward task. It then covers political and social or economic rights, the traditional means of protecting civil liberties in the UK, the European Convention on Human Rights, the incorporation of the Convention into English law, and judicial deference/discretionary areas of judgment. The Human Rights Act 1998 is reviewed from a protection of rights perspective. Finally, the question of a Bill of Rights for the UK is considered.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Republic of Ireland v United Kingdom (1979-80) 2 EHRR 25, European Court of Human Rights. This case concerned whether interrogation techniques employed by the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1975 amounted to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. More generally, the case note considers the differences between absolute, limited, and qualified rights. The case predates the passage of the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

Essential Cases: Public Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Ireland v United Kingdom (1979-80) 2 EHRR 25, European Court of Human Rights. This case concerned whether interrogation techniques employed by the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1975 amounted to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. More generally, the case note considers the differences between absolute, limited, and qualified rights. The case predates the passage of the Human Rights Act 1998. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Thomas Webb.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the reality of human rights protection within States. It addresses the limitations of various rights and the extent to which States can deviate from responsibility in terms of international human rights law. It covers issues such as State discretion in selecting and applying rights, particularly through derogations, reservations, declarations, and denunciations. These are issues which impact on almost all human rights and almost all States in some way.

Chapter

David Harris, Michael O’Boyle, Ed Bates, Carla Buckley, and Heather Green

This chapter discusses Article 3 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights, which imposes a positive obligation on states to secure free elections. The Court has read into this text individual rights to vote and to stand for election, reversing its technique of deriving positive obligations from the expressly articulated guarantees of individual rights contained in other Articles of the Convention. The right of prisoners to vote is included.

Chapter

David Harris, Michael O’Boyle, Ed Bates, and Carla Buckley

This chapter discusses Article 2 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to education. Article 2 extends to all forms of education provided or permitted by the state–primary, secondary, and higher education, as well as to private schools and universities. The right to education consists of a variety of rights and freedoms for children and parents. These mostly belong to the pupil or student, but parents do have certain rights of their own under Article 2 about the way in which their child is educated.

Chapter

David Harris, Michael O’Boyle, Ed Bates, and Carla Buckley

This chapter discusses Articles 16–18 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 16 allows potentially wide-ranging interference with the political rights of aliens. Article 17 aims to prevent totalitarian or extremist groups from justifying their activities by referring to the Convention. Article 18 concerns misuse of powers or breaches of the principle of good faith, and must be applied in conjunction with another Convention’s Article(s).

Chapter

This chapter examines various Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in order to see how, following the passage of the Human Rights Act 1998, the subject of human rights has had an impact on UK employment law. The articles of the Convention that are considered in relation to employment law are: the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment (Art. 3); the right not to be required to perform forced or compulsory labour (Art. 4); the right to a fair trial (Art. 6); the right to respect for private life (Art. 8); the right to freedom of thought (Art. 9); the right to freedom of expression (Art. 10); the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions (Art. 11); and the right to enjoy the substantive rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention without discrimination (Art. 14).