Report of seminar: ‘Rewriting our rights? Human rights and the UK constitution’

On 12 November 2012, the British Academy Policy Centre, EDF and the EDF Research Network held a seminar about recent human rights developments in the UK.

Tumultuous and politicised debate about human rights protections in the UK led the Government to appoint a Commission on a Bill of Rights to consider the future of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the possibility of introducing a British Bill of Rights. As the UK awaits the Commission’s report to be published at the end of the year, the British Academy, the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) and the EDF Research Network held an open discussion on developments around human rights in the UK.

The event considered how those who campaign, research or make policy on this issue should build their respective cases using solid and effective evidence covering:

  • criticisms of the Human Rights Act and whether they have any grounds;
  • the cost of tampering with a functioning system;
  • the legal complexities surrounding this issue;
  • what a new Bill of Rights might mean for the UK.

Speakers were:

  • Professor Sandra Fredman QC, Oxford University, EDF Research Network co-chair, and member of the British Academy steering group for the report (Chair)
  • Colm O’Cinneide, Reader in Law, UCL, and author of the report, Human Rights and the UK Constitution
  • Sarah Isal, Director, UK Race & Europe Network /Deputy Director, Runnymede
  • Joshua Rozenberg, legal commentator
  • Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Mind

Click here for event flyer

Click here for summary of the event by Faith Marchal, EDF Research Network

Click here for link to a recording of the event on the British Academy website

Click here for tweets from the event

Click here for details about and link to ‘Human Rights and the UK Constitution’ by Colm O’Cinneide

'Human Rights and the UK Constitution' by Colm O'Cinnedie

Speakers at the seminar on 12 November 2012

Professor Sandra Fredman QC, chairing the seminar

Dr Robin Jackson, Chief Executive, British Academy, welcoming participants

Amanda Ariss, Chief Executive of the Equality and Diversity Forum