Press release archive

Government to scrap archaic loophole that lets Armed Forces Commanding Officers investigate sexual assaults themselves

13 December 2017

The Government has quietly announced a major change to the law that will stop Commanding Officers in the Armed Forces investigating soldiers’ allegations of sexual assault themselves – but they still won’t have to refer complaints to civilian police.

The proposed changes to the Armed Forces Act 2006 come after years of campaigning by soldiers, bereaved families and Liberty – and after Liberty threatened the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with legal action on behalf of a serving soldier if it failed to close the loophole.

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Brexit: ‘Henry VIII eats Parliament’ stunt to highlight concern over loss of rights

11 December 2017

Liberty and Amnesty International are staging a ‘Henry VIII eats Parliament’ stunt in Westminster on Monday to highlight human rights campaigners’ concerns with how the Government is treating people’s rights in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The stunt will see a fully-costumed Henry VIII impersonator being served and partially consuming a giant Houses of Parliament cake.

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Government concedes need for Snoopers’ Charter to protect rights in response to Tom Watson’s landmark legal challenge – but must go further

30 November 2017

  • Amber Rudd has today proposed changes to the new Investigatory Powers Act in response to successful legal claim brought by Tom Watson MP
  • But Government proposals only partially comply with landmark judgment

Tom Watson MP said:

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EU Withdrawal Bill: Liberty, Amnesty, UNISON and PLP call on MPs to stand up for constituents’ rights and bring home the Charter of Fundamental Rights

21 November 2017

Liberty, Amnesty International UK, UNISON and the Public Law Project are calling on MPs to vote down the Government’s plans to drop the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after Brexit.

The organisations are urging MPs to support amendments eight and 10 – which have cross-party backing – as they continue their line-by-line debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill today.

In a joint statement, they said:

“Whether people voted leave or remain, no one asked the Government to take away their rights and freedoms after Brexit.

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Post-Brexit Trade Bill risks “handing our rights and our sovereignty to the highest international bidder” – Liberty and the Public Law Project

09 November 2017

Liberty and the Public Law Project have warned that the Government’s Trade Bill, which was quietly published on Tuesday, would allow ministers to unilaterally rewrite laws like the Equality Act and the Modern Slavery Act at the request of a foreign power.

The plans are the latest attempt by ministers to undermine democracy and bypass parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process, after the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and Data Protection Bill contained similar “Henry VIII” powers.

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Campaigners to challenge secret Home Office-NHS data-sharing deal that puts migrants off seeking vital medical help

09 November 2017

The Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN) is today launching a legal challenge to a secret data-sharing agreement between the Home Office, Department of Health and NHS that violates patient confidentiality and puts all migrants at risk.

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Government’s victim compensation agency formally apologises to Liberty client after ruling he consented to sexual abuse as a child

08 November 2017

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) has formally apologised to a young man who was groomed and sexually exploited from the age of 13, after it ruled he had “consented” to the abuse and denied him compensation.

CICA’s Chief Executive Carole Oatway has written to the man – known as HND – apologising for the way his case was handled and confirming that he is eligible for compensation.

She states: “I am firmly of the view that you are eligible for compensation. It is clear that advantage was taken of your age and vulnerability for the purpose of sexual abuse.”

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European Court of Human Rights to hear landmark challenge to UK Government mass surveillance

06 November 2017

The case is the latest stage in a protracted effort from the organisations to challenge the UK’s extremely wide-ranging surveillance powers following startling revelations by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. 

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Changes are welcome, but risk of injustice remains - Liberty, Barnardo's and Victim Support respond to new compensation guidelines for victims of grooming

31 October 2017

In July 2017, Liberty, Barnardo's, Victim Support, Rape Crisis and the National Working Group revealed that child victims of grooming and sexual abuse were being refused compensation on the mistaken grounds they had consented to a relationship.

The coalition called on justice secretary David Lidington to review the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority's (CICA) guidelines which were causing these gross injustices.

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Campaigners condemn Government’s “shameless attempt” to strip millions of their privacy rights in new Data Protection Bill

24 October 2017

A clause smuggled into the Government’s new data protection law would create a two-tier, racially discriminatory data protection regime and undermine millions of people’s privacy rights, campaigners have warned today.

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