Talk:Human rights in the United Kingdom

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Slavery[edit]

What relavence does this add to the article? I may not be too keen on the government here, but some of the 'facts' in this article are very much in the past or simple a pack of lies. Johnx4 20:04 06 December 2006

Suggest new section on laws positive to human rights, covering e.g., when the UK introduced women's right to vote, adoption of the HR act, introduced of same-sex civil unions etc. Also perhaps a section on the detention of immigrants. Joe D (t) 14:07, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

I removed the long history of legally sanctioned slavery, since english common law has long held that slavery was illegal, the mansfield judgement being on of the best examples where it was declared, "the air of england is too pure to be breathed by anyone deemed a slave". the British empire is a seperate legal entity from Britain. Capt Jack Doicy 00:45 16 December 2006

organisation?[edit]

okay, this could be an absolutely superb article! The history of human right in the uk is fascinating, twisted and rather strange, so in order to it justice we need some structure! May I humbly suggest something like:

  • History of Human Rights (I mean real history - recent stuff in c&a and recent issues)
    • Suffrage (as mentioned above - thanks)
    • Voting age
  • Conventions and Acts
    • ECHR (1950, UK 1953)
    • HRA 1998
  • Human Rights Organisations
  • Recent Issues
    • Internment
    • Surveillance (most observed people in the world from CCTV)
    • ID Cards

see here: [[1]]

hope it helps! I may be able to some stuff myself, but exam season.... Cheers, 81.157.26.80 22:42, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

All very good ideas. But look at the parallel article on the US. What we need here is much more history. I think one could create a good, balanced article by highlighting some of the positive intellectual developments in the history of the UK (and England), which include some of the very first protections of human rights (and intellectual developments of ideas connected to rights), but also some of the negatives: Statutes of Kilkenny, slave trade, etc. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-20 10:11 (UTC)
Hm... No one seems interested in making this balanced? I'm going to add a POV warning for the time being. Though I live in Scandinavia ("the UK of the Continent") I don't feel comfortable with enough of the historical details to have a go at this just yet. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-29 10:02 (UTC)

I think that this article would benefit from being restructured. It does not fit in terms of style with other countries human rights pages and at present the UK history of human rights as written by Dicey, a UK academic whose work sought to justify the legitimacy of UK constitution by an argument that though it was unwritten it was legitimate as it conferred rights through common law. Dicey is a manadatory text for all law degree strudents but his work is very dated and many would argue has been superceded. I suggest that the UK Human Rights should be the main part of the article and the history of UK human rights should appear under a separate heading of UK History of Human Rights. Isthisuseful (talk) 12:42, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

POV Warning[edit]

I honestly don't mean to be difficult, but this article, as it stands, is nothing more than a whitewash of UK history. I'm not expecting a UK-hating article that's as US-hating as Human rights in the United States is! Things don't work that way on Wikipedia. But, at a minimum, sections stubs, with links to more extensive articles, are needed. With those in place, I'd be happy removing, or toning down, the warning. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-29 10:13 (UTC)

I don't think anyone in the UK would argue with any of the things flagged here. The British (of which I'm one) did much harm in Ireland, Africa, and India. But at the same time, these shouldn't really colour how things are done nowadays. This article is about how human rights are preserved in the UK, and that is an important issue, what with anti-terrorism laws, companies buying and selling personal information, racism, etc.
If you want, create an article along the lines of "historical human rights abuses perpetrated by the UK/British Empire". Leave the present article to focus on the current issues. Throwing in historical ones will obscure them. And, if you're going to bring up history, then you have to leaven the bread with the advances and defences of human rights: Magna Carta, parliamentary politics, constitutional monarchy, religous tolerance, anti slavery and child labour legislation, the Reform Bill, war with Nazi Germany, etc., etc.
Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 15:59, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Here's the problem, as I see it. Articles about human rights in different countries need to follow the same general strategy. Either they are articles about current issues, or they also include historical matters. Not having the same strategy, or standard, for each country, itself constitutes a POV problem (a "structural POV problem"). Take a look at Human rights in the United States, and I think you'll see what I mean. We have to make a decision: remove the discussion of the past in all countries with articles about them called "Human rights in X," or include historical information. I think the latter strategy would make more sense.

By the way, I am not motivated by a desire to "bash the British." I think the article needs to mention (though not necessarily go into great detail about) the many things of which the British should be proud: the Magna Carta, Locke, Burke, etc. (It's for similar reasons that I both a] put in a couple sentences about the Holocaust, and b] added mention of Hegel and Kant, in making some changes to Human rights in Germany.)

Indeed, I think the history of the U.S. and the UK are very similar when it comes to human rights: many intellectual advances, some advances in practice, and many failures in practice. The articles for both countries should be structured in similar ways, and I think the solution of spawning a separate article for historical developments isn't a good way to solve the current structural POV-ness. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-30 16:34 (UTC)

That's all fair enough, but I think you're trying to do two things. On the one hand, there should be an account of the development of human rights in British history. This should certainly make mention of things like Magna Carta and the Presumption of Innocence, as well as Slavery and Empire. But on the other hand the article should focus on the current state of human rights. This should be about how the law stands now, the tension between UK law and European conventions, anti-terrorism law, media-led witchhunts, and so on. With the article split two ways, you can accomodate the past and then describe the present. Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 19:30, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I am trying to do two things with this article, under the assumption that the "trying to do two things" with the parallel article about the U.S. can't be changed. You understood my point about "structural POV," yes? You say "the article should focus on the current state of human rights." I'm not sure I agree, but I'm certain that the strategy here should be the same as that at "Human ... US." You follow? --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-30 19:33 (UTC)

I'm not sure that US article is especially good; and, judging by its talk page, lots of other people have felt the same way. There are also fundamental differences in looking at the two countries. The US was created with a Bill of Rights at the heart of it, whereas in the UK human rights legislation evolved from a variety of angles and in many different ways. In particular, there is the supranational effect, the EU Convention, which has no parallel in the US.
Moreover, slavery isn't nearly so much of an issue, since it was something shared by all nations from prehistoric times onwards. The slave trade certainly is relevant in a historical context, but it hasn't been a factor in politics for hundreds of years. Since there isn't a huge population of people descended from slaves living in the UK, that isn't a political issue in the same way as in the US. The death penalty is likewise only of historical interest, as is torture.
I don't see any reason at all why this article should mirror that of the US one; if a better job can be done here via different methods, then so be it.
I have no idea what a "structural POV" is.
Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 12:42, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

1) I disagree that the historical differences between the UK and the U.S. are significant here. In both countries, the notion of human rights has been important -- even foundational (though in different ways) -- and has evolved.
2) Slavery was a political factor in all non-tiny Western countries until around the mid-nineteenth century. (Depending on the country, the time it ceased being relevant varied by a couple decades or so.)
3) I didn't mean to suggest that this article should adopt the same criteria for inclusion of material as the parallel article about Human rights in the U.S., but all articles called "Human rights in X" (where X is a country) should adopt criteria that are as similar as possible. (See next.)
4) I apologize if I wasn't sufficiently clear with my term "structural POV." Please see: User:Cultural_Freedom/Glossary
Best, Cultural Freedom talk 2006-07-01 13:45 (UTC)

Changes to the POV notice: keep it neutral[edit]

I just want to register my agreement with user:John Kenney about the POV notice. It was far too long before. It is right and proper that a POV notice be placed at the top of the article, but it should link to the discussion page. By including stuff about the Mau Mau and India and all the rest, the critical point of view is being given more weight than the opposing view, that the article is essentially fine.

Personally, I think this article should be strictly and solely about the current state of human rights in the UK. Mentioning events in Republic of Ireland, Kenya, or India or other parts of the former Empire obviously aren't about "human rights in the United Kingdom", they're about human rights in Ireland, Kenya, or wherever. Discussions on what the British did in those places should be on their human rights pages; on the pages about those countries; on pages about the Empire; or pages about the events in question.

Northern Ireland is, of course, still part of the UK, and human rights issues there rightly and properly fit into this article.

There is plenty to discuss even when limited to current events in Britain: internment, detention without trial, the European Convention on Human Rights, rights of minorities, tensions between state laws and religious/ethnic traditions, and so on.

Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 08:40, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

I would also like to agree with John Kenney and Neale on keeping the POV neutral - Chwyatt 10:24, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah. This should be a discussion about human rights today. Historical discussion is not necessary. For example, there's nothing about that on the China (PRC) page, so why should there be here? John Smith's 15:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Though I think it would be worthwhile to briefly discuss WHERE the current laws/freedoms came from. John Smith's 15:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
"For example, there's nothing about that on the China (PRC) page, so why should there be here?" Answer: Because there was a huge discussion about the history of putative U.S. violations of human rights in the "Human rights in the United States" article. Please read the section above, "POV Warning", before commenting further. However, note: much of the history from the Human Rights in the U.S. article has been removed, so we're getting there!
My recommendation: All articles of the form "Human rights in X" (where X is a country) be renamed to "Current human rights situation in X". That seems to be what most people want these articles to be about. Note: I'm mostly unable to work on WP articles for another 5-6 days. But I'll return to this within a week, at the latest. --Cultural Freedom 2006-08-09 22:19 (UTC)
No, renaming the article is not essential (though I get your reasoning). "Human rights in the UK" is in the present tense, so implies the situation as it is now. Also note the word "in", which means in this sense "within", as opposed to human rights in the British Empire, on the Moon, or wherever.
What you may want to do is add a caption at the top that says "This article discusses the current state of human rights in the United Kingdom. For discussion of human rights issues in the British Empire and pre-independence Ireland, please see those articles". Neale Monks 09:26, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree that this section should restrict itself to the current state of human rights in the UK. There is room for some mention of necessary historical developments (e.g. the UK signed up to the European Convention over 50 years ago) and extraterritorial issues (e.g. the extent to which the Human Rights Act applies to the actions of UK forces in Southern Iraq), but nothing is gained by turning this section into a historical account of human rights abuses by the British Empire. That kind of thing belongs in the history section.Newc0253 22:51, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

POV[edit]

"The United Kingdom has a long and established tradition of avowed respect for its subjects' human rights". Really? Where is your reference for this? At the very heart of the notion of subject is the relationship of subservience of the ordinary individual vis-a-vis the monarch. The UK was (before the HRA 1998) frequently before the ECHR to explain such things as shooting IRA suspects in Gibraltar, blanket immunity from prosecution for the police, different ages of consent for heterosexuals and homosexuals, the extradition of a suspect to the US to face the death penalty, extraction of evidence under torture, and so on and so forth. The truth is that yes, before the HRA, there were a certain number of limited rights (such as habeas corpus and principles of natural justice), but this in no way compares with the situation after the HRA became law in 2000, hence the huge impact it has had on our legal system and the subsequent controversy. If the truth be told - yes we were pioneers in many respects in the early development of human rights (Magna Carta), but fell far behind in the last 200 years or so. Even now, we are "rights-poor" in relation to countries such as France, and perhaps even the United States (with regard to the protection of US citizens). The rose-tinted spectacles need to be removed. Ravenseft 20:59, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

SOCA[edit]

Is this an appropriate place to mention the Serious Organised Crime Act's restrictions on spontaneous protest near parliament? This seems like a restriction of the right of assembly to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.194.223.213 (talk) 15:46, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Now done. Ravenseft (talk) 22:19, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

notion of the citizen[edit]

there is a notion of the citizen in british constitutional thought, and the article talks about the influence of men like Burke but excludes Hobbes Locke and JS Mill, who were all far more influential, it was the notion of the social contract that these writers used that most written constitutions are based on. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.107.78.253 (talk) 14:34, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

There may well be a notion of the citizen in constitutional theory, however there is no such theory in UK law - with which this article is concerned. If you are looking to leave comments regarding the notion of citizenship itself, I suggest you go to the citizenship article. As for your comment that Burke, Bentham, Austin, Dicey and Jennings are "minor" authors, I should point out that they are, in fact, key figures in the development of the UK Constitution. The ideas put forward by the authors which you have mentioned do not find full expression in the UK Constitution to the extent that they do, for example, in the French and US constitutions. In particular, the notion of a social contract between the state and citizen comporting civil rights for the latter is at odds with the British conception of a subject owing allegiance to the Crown and not benefiting from "positive" rights as such. I don't agree that the citizenship paragraph in the article - which was taken directly from a key legal text - is biased, indeed it represents established UK constitutional thought for the past 100 years. If you don't substantiate your arguments, I will have to remove the neutrality tag. Ravenseft (talk) 16:18, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

If this article is about human rights, the concept of citizenship seems irrelevant. Human rights are rights that all human being enjoy, regardless of their citizenship, in contrast to civic rights that are enjoyed only by citizens of a certain commonwealth. Str1977 (talk) 12:38, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Isn’t citizenship an important concept in relationship to rights to be protected from harm under the law? Chwyatt (talk) 11:20, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the pov tag and provided a redirect to the main citizenship article where discussion of the notion of citizenship belongs. Lamberhurst (talk) 22:27, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Racist Attack in Northern Ireland[edit]

I've removed this entire paragraph, since it had no significance for the article. Yes, there was harassment of Romanian Roma immigrants for one period in one location, but why pick out this one incident? There have been racist murders elsewhere in the UK, (and a long history of Protestant/Catholic sectarian murders in Northern Ireland) and many, many racist attacks and hostility in the news from all over the UK.Steve Graham (talk) 17:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Paternity[edit]

Does a child no longer have the right to know who his father is?andycjp (talk) 05:23, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Abbreviation of statutory short titles[edit]

There is no reason to do this.

The citation of these Acts by their short titles is authorised by statute. Their citation by these abbreviations is not and is probably strictly technically innaccurate.

Moreover, these abbreviations are likely to be confusing. I can guess what "CLA 1977", for example, probably stands for, but an ordinary person has no chance, and is going to have to click on a lot of links.James500 (talk) 22:11, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I have removed the abbreviations in question.James500 (talk) 22:38, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Recognition of Britain's contribution to human rights[edit]

I would like to reaffirm concerns by other contributors as to the perspective of this article in respect to Britain's contribution to fundamental rights, as well as the lack of 'citizenship'. Firstly the issue of citizenship, an idea emanating from 18th century France and America, is viewed very negatively in this article in respect to the UK. The UK has by comparison some of the most liberal citizenship rules in the world, with residents of certain foreign countries (Commonwealth nations) entitled full electoral rights and EU citizens allowed to vote in all but national elections. Also citizenship is a recognised legal interpretation, with the term 'subject' only used in reference to a legal resident who has not gained full citizen rights. Citizenship is even a lesson taught in English schools.

Further the whole franchise of 'citizenship' can be interpreted as deeply flawed and discriminatory. Citizenship rights are only ever granted to individuals who meet certain criteria (jus sanguinis, jus soli and jure matrimonii) and these criteria can be made heavily restricted, as can be noted by the 451 decree in Athens that heavily curtailed access to the franchise, as it is controlled by the citizenry to their implicit advantage. Also the attitude assumes documents as enlightened as the founding documents of the United States and the French Republic had any actual impact upon groups in society, with notably non-white people in parts of America being routinely discriminated against up until 1965. It's also important to note that in France certain ethnic groups and even women continue to be discriminated against in areas of employment, yet the government and private sector are able to claim that inequality does not exist because it ended with the creation of the Republic.

Also Britain, and in it's former guises of England and Scotland, has contributed greatly to other documents of rights around the world. For the article not to mention Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights is a travesty, after all these documents along with the evolution of Habeas Corpus (which has ambiguously developed over several centuries) have contributed greatly to the US Bill of Rights and UN Human Rights. The article needs to recognise where such basic ideas such as 'a right to trial' and 'protection of property from searches' originate from.

Though I will always support a person's rational criticism of a countries system of governance, I think this article needs to maintain the perspective that the UK has committed grave injustices as well as contributing greatly to modern democracy. Involvement in Éire has been incredibly controversial, with the treatment of certain individuals and groups deplorable, yet the recent history of Éire has itself been deeply controversial and should never be interpreted in a protagonist/antagonist perspective. Ultimately if someone wants to publish unbiased articles on recent imperialist history, and covering all empires, then I would welcome it. Even in the last 50 years France, America and the USSR have all acted in imperialist fashion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlsie19 (talkcontribs) 11:05, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

No Critisism & Controversy section?[edit]

The Human Rights Act has been critisised since its inception. Yet there is no section on it. --86.31.4.222 (talk) 22:45, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

What you are looking for is the page dealing with the HRA. Lamberhurst (talk) 10:18, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Bias and article coherence[edit]

I have reinstated comments deleted inexplicably by [Hohum]. This article reads reads as an homage to the Britain, and without wishing to be unpatriotic a wiki article should be reasonably balanced. There is a place for political blogging but it is not on wiki.

Should the article not contain the details of human rights judgements against the UK? Should the article not contain the Human Rights judgements of the UK's higher courts against UK institutions?

I notice that Hohum is wedded to a Daily Telegraph article about Cameron's 2007 views of the Human Rights Act. Surely wiki should belimited to the views of Daily Telegraph which it seems are matters of political commentary, whilst court judgements even if Hohum disagrees with the UK courts, are matters of fact.

Here is the text that so offended Hohum. Isthisuseful (talk) 12:26, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

In recent years, July 2011, the High Court ordered the disclosure of a number of previously secret documents relating to the detention of UK nationals and residents in the custody of US and other overseas intelligence agencies. The documents provided further evidence of UK involvement in and knowledge of human rights violations, up to the highest levels of government. On 10 February 2010, the Court of Appeal ordered the disclosure of seven previously redacted paragraphs concerning the treatment in US custody of former Guantánamo detainee Binyam Mohamed. The disclosed paragraphs reaffirmed that UK intelligence officers knew that Binyam Mohamed was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in US custody. On 17 November 2010, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute a UK security services officer for any criminal offence arising from an interview conducted with Binyam Mohamed while in detention in Pakistan on 17 May 2002. As of December 2010, eight individuals, all British nationals, were under “control orders”. The control order regime, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, allows a government minister, subject to limited judicial scrutiny, to impose severe restrictions on an individual who is suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activity. The regime was renewed by Parliament in March 2010 for one more year. In June 2010, the Supreme Court issued its judgement in the case of “AP”, ruling that the term of his control order requiring him to live in a city some 150 miles away from his family, when taken together with the 16-hour curfew restriction and the resultant social isolation, constituted a deprivation of his right to liberty. In July 2010, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that no charges would be brought in relation to the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson. He died in April 2009 during the G-20 demonstrations in London shortly after being struck with a baton on the back of his leg by a police officer who then pushed him to the floor. Prosecutors concluded that there was no realistic prospect of a conviction against the police officer involved following disagreements between the medical experts as to the cause of death. Whilst Amnesty International highlights a number of areas of concern regarding human rights in the UK however Isthisuseful (talk) 12:34, 12 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Isthisuseful (talkcontribs) 12:29, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

By the end of 2010, the European Court of Human Rights had, in 271 cases, found violations of the European Convention of Human Rights by the United Kingdom.[4] Isthisuseful (talk) 12:34, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

The primary problem with these details is that they are not appropriate for the lede per WP:LEDE. The lede is a summary of information in the body. It shouldn't have unique details. If you think the information is relevant, include it in a relevant area of the main article, with references, which were also lacking. (Hohum @) 01:24, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Worst POV Article Ever[edit]

England and then the UK has been at the forefront of human rights legislation since the Magna Carta and WAY ahead of Eurooe yet this article reads as though the European model lately come to the country is the arbiter of all things wonderful when the reverse is true. Europe was a centre for the most atrocious human rights abuses yet this article presents the continent as otherwise, I recommend a complete re-write. Twobells (talk) 07:46, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

update, I have tagged the article as NPOV, including systemic bias and dubious as so much is without citation and pov, when AI get a minute I'll edit out the worst sections and put the article back on neutral ground.Twobells (talk) 08:06, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
The bulk of this article is based directly on respected works on human rights law, notably David Pannick's Human Rights Law and Practice and Halsbury's Laws of England. I do not agree that the article breaches WP:NPOV; in fact, it simply identifies each of the rights in the Convention and their equivalents in UK law. The ratification part and the passage of the HRA is purely factual. I don't have the books to hand at the moment but will add them and in-line references in the course of next week. Lamberhurst (talk) 19:46, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Twobells' statement is more POV and jingoistic. No need to worry as hes proven nothing wrong, other than IDONTLIKEIT
Template:ReslovedLihaas (talk) 17:20, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Links[edit]

>> UK war on immigration tears families apart >> UK uses health workers in counter-terror plan (Lihaas (talk) 17:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)).