On Monday afternoon MPs will be asked to pass a Bill which will continue one of the worst legacies of the ‘war on terror’ - punitive sanctions imposed on potentially innocent individuals without them ever being charged, prosecuted or sentenced for any crime.
It’s almost too obvious to say we all have a right to life. It’s protected in law by our Human Rights Act, which requires the Government to take positive steps to ensure this right is guaranteed. Most of us live freely and can access fundamentals like food, clean water and medical care.
There has been very little public education about the rights and freedoms in the Human Rights Act and how it works. As a result, many myths and misunderstandings have sprung up about the HRA – including who it does and doesn’t protect and what values it contains.
Another day, another unprovoked attack on the Human Rights Act. The Prime Minister, writing in the Sunday Express, gave the HRA another thoroughly predictable bashing. It’s all becoming depressingly familiar – the legislation carries the can for everything from the recent riots, ‘young people today’ to a perceived erosion of personal responsibility. Perhaps climate change and rising obesity can be laid at its door too?
Following the shocking disorder that rocked our cities last week, the dust has settled and the soul-searching begins. As those affected begin to rebuild their lives and communities, countless voices attempt to explain why such violence occurred and how we try to prevent it happening again.
Incredibly, up until April last year it wasn’t actually a criminal offence in this country to hold another person in slavery or servitude. Thanks in part to lobbying by Liberty, such modern day slavery was finally outlawed, with a new offence brought into English law through the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. This week, in London, we saw one of the first convictions under this new legislation that we campaigned so hard for.
A country can be judged by how it responds to a crisis. Riots across England have filled our TV screens with terrible images of violence and criminality and damaged communities have rightly demanded answers about the strategy of the authorities.
Back in March, the Prime Minister set up a Bill of Rights Commission to investigate the possibility of creating a 'UK Bill of Rights'. Today the Commission embarked upon its first step of public consultation, launching a discussion paper asking people “Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?”
Lucky residents of Royston! This Hertfordshire town, population 15,000, is ringed by ANPR cameras with every road in and out of the town covered. ANPR is an abbreviation of “automatic number plate recognition”. ANPR cameras photograph each passing vehicle. The number plate is automatically read and compared against various databases. A photograph of the vehicle showing its number plate – and possibly its occupants as well – is then retained for two years.