Blog archive

A week of backtracking and concessions at the Department for Education

It’s been a busy week at the Department for Education (DfE).

Today we heard the news – yet to be confirmed by the DfE – that it has bowed to campaigning by Liberty and others and will drop plans to allow local authorities to opt out of complying with their legal obligations to children.

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Lords must take their chance to protect EU citizens' rights

Today the House of Lords gets to debate the Government’s Brexit Bill, which breezed through the Commons without a single amendment.

Even on issues with cross-party support, like the need to provide EU migrants with certainty over their right to stay in the UK, those who believe rights should be off the negotiating table were defeated.

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PSPO Watch: Join the fightback

Scrapping plans for Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) was never likely to be high on the list of local councils’ New Year’s resolutions.

Although more and more people have become aware of the absurd – and often cruel – ways PSPOs are being misused, it unfortunately looks like we’ll continue to see our freedoms chipped away in 2017.

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Smoke and mirrors at the MoD

Liberty's Emma Norton on why the Ministry of Defence's proposed compensation scheme is about protecting itself, not soldiers.

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Turning landlords into border guards does lead to discrimination - just as we warned

Liberty warned from the outset that the Government’s misguided ‘right to rent’ scheme would sow discrimination and division – and today a landmark report from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) reveals that’s exactly what it’s done.

For years, successive governments have been on a mission to make border guards of all of us.

They’ve roped in bank clerks, doctors, teachers, police and employers to check the immigration status of their customers, patients, school pupils, citizens and staff.

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The Prevent duty turned my young clients' lives upside down and destroyed their trust in others - it must be repealed

Our lives are divided into before and after.

“Before that day, my children were just children. They trusted their teachers and friends – school was a safe place. Before that day, I was just another mum: chatting at the playground gates, reading with other children in school, helping out at the PTA, planning my dream life in a country village.

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Friends, Families and Travellers: How councils are abusing their powers to target vulnerable minorities

In July 2016, Brighton and Hove Council became the first local authority to our knowledge to use Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to ban Gypsies and Travellers stopping on the 12 traditional places they have used most in the city, and around it, for decades. 

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If you want to speak out about prejudice and discrimination in the UK, stand with Liberty

The carnage of Donald Trump's first week in office is a powerful call to action for all those who believe in human rights.

He flirted with torture, set his wall-building in motion and, on Holocaust Memorial Day, banned refugees and Muslims from his country.

But he didn’t get away with it.

The discriminatory ban and detention of travellers on the basis of their nationality and religion was met with spontaneous mass demonstrations.

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Prime Minister, take note – the European Convention on Human Rights is a legacy of the Holocaust

Today, our Prime Minister becomes the first world leader to meet President Donald Trump. Today is also Holocaust Memorial Day. It is a day to remember all those persecuted and murdered during the Holocaust and later genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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Parliament must protect our rights as we leave the EU - and Liberty will be watching

Today the Supreme Court has ruled the Government cannot bypass Parliament as it kick-starts our departure from the European Union.

Instead, the law requires it must seek approval from MPs before triggering Article 50. The Court found that, as the rights of people in the UK will be affected, the Government cannot undertake Brexit – and alter these rights – without parliamentary authorisation.  

The judgment makes clear that the Court takes no view on the merits or otherwise of Brexit – it simply states that Parliament must play a role in overseeing that process.

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