The truth about Britain's values

10 December 2009

A poll released today by Liberty shows the British public’s continued support for human rights. 96% believe it is important that there is a law that protects rights and freedoms in Britain.

Liberty’s regular poll, published on Human Rights Day, reveals overwhelming support for the contents of the Human Rights Act, however only 11% of respondents remember receiving or seeing any information from the Government about the legislation.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty said:

 “Anyone searching for a bit of pre-Christmas cheer should look no further than this heartening poll. Despite the many serious challenges faced in Britain and beyond, the people of the world’s oldest unbroken democracy remain steadfast in their commitment to human rights. In the run up to next year’s General Election, let’s hope the politicians are listening.”
Liberty’s ComRes polling also revealed strong support for the various individual rights contained in the Act:

● 92% identified the right not to be tortured or degraded as either vital or important. Only 5% thought it was unnecessary.
● 95% identified respect for privacy, family life and the home to be vital or important. The same number thinks as highly of the right to a fair trial. Only 1% thought it was unnecessary.
● 89% believed that freedom of speech, protest and association was either vital or important. Only 3% thought it was unnecessary.

Contact: Mairi Clare Rodgers on 0207 378 3677 or 0797 3 831 128


1. The ComRes poll was conducted November 27 – 29 2009. To view the findings in full, contact  ComRes interviewed 1,003 people by telephone between 27 and 29 November 2009. The results were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables available at
2. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed on 10 December 1948. The principles of the UDHR were then embodied in European Convention of Human Rights with support from Winston Churchill’s Government and more recently in the Human Rights Act in 1998.
3. At this evening’s Human Rights Awards in central London, lawyers, campaigners and others will be honoured for their work.