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The United Kingdom's Statutory Bill of Rights Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives
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The United Kingdom's Statutory Bill of Rights Constitutional and Comparative Perspectives

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Published April 2013 (OUP/British Academy)
ISBN: 9780197265376. Hard Cover, 370 pages.

Edited by Roger Masterman and Ian Leigh 

  • Chapters by leading scholars and practitioners 
  • Focus on the constitutional effects of the HRA (as opposed to discrete examinations of its provisions, or substantive protections) 
  • Examination of the ongoing Bill of Rights debate Mainly of relevance to the UK, but also the UK's areas of influence, e.g. Australia and New Zealand 
By providing enforceable remedies for breaches of Convention Rights in domestic courts, and in allowing judges to scrutinise parliamentary legislation on human rights grounds, the United Kingdom's Human Rights Act 1998 marked a sea-change in the relationships between the individual and the state, and between the courts and the political branches of government, as they had been traditionally understood. Despite the undeniable practical importance of the Human Rights Act, widespread political and popular scepticism over the nature of rights adjudication and the relationship between human rights laws and-for instance-measures designed to combat terrorism and crime, has prevented the Human Rights Act from being seen as an established and essential part of our constitutional structures. This uncertainty has not however prevented the Human Rights Act from exerting significant constitutional influence within the United Kingdom, within the framework provided by the European Convention and European Court of Human Rights, and beyond. 

This edited collection of essays therefore seeks to chart the lasting constitutional impact of the Human Rights Act at a point when its political future is far from assured. To that end, chapters examine the relationships between the Human Rights Act and domestic constitutional doctrine, with the Convention's enforcement bodies at Strasbourg and with statutory bills of rights in other common law jurisdictions. Further, the collection goes on to examine the permanence of changes initiated in domestic legal reasoning and process-including to judicial technique and in advocacy-before finally turning to examine how the experience of the Human Rights Act might influence the future development of a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom. 

Readership: Scholars and students interested in law or politics; law practitioners and policy-makers 

Edited by Roger Masterman, Durham University, and Ian Leigh, Durham University Roger Masterman is Reader in Law at Durham Law School and Co-Director of the Human Rights Centre. Ian Leigh is Professor of Law at Durham University. He is a member of the Durham Human Rights Centre and the Durham Global Security Institute. He has taught at several UK universities and held visiting appointments at the universities of Otago, Florida, Virginia, Melbourne and at Osgoode Hall Law School. 


Colin Murray was appointed to a lectureship in law at Newcastle University in 2007. 

Aidan O'Neill QC is a barrister at Matrix Chambers. He is qualified to appear as counsel in England and Wales and in Scotland and has appeared as senior counsel before, among other tribunals, the UK Supreme Court, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the House of Lords, Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. 

Gavin Phillipson is Professor of Law at Durham Law School and has published extensively in the fields of human rights and constitutional law. 

Sir Rabinder Singh is a Justice of the High Court of England and Wales (Queen's Bench Division). At the time of writing he was a barrister at Matrix Chambers, London. He is an Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Nottingham. 

Julia Watson is an associate to the Honourable Chief Justice French at the High Court of Australia, and was previously an associate to the Honourable Justice Kenny at the Federal Court of Australia. Julia holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne. 

Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE was a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1972 to 1987 and Chief Justice from 1987 to 1995. He was Commonwealth Solicitor General from 1964 to 1969 and a Judge of the NSW Court of Appeal from 1969 to 1972. Until recently, he was Chancellor of UNSW, National Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Fiji and President of the Solomon Islands Court of Appeal. In 1996-1997 he was Arthur Goodhart Professor in Legal Science at Cambridge University. Since 2001 he has been Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the ANU College of Law. Sir Anthony has been a non-permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal since 1997. Sir Anthony holds Honorary Doctorates from the Australian National University and Sydney, Melbourne, Monash, Griffith and Deakin Universities, UNSW and the Universities of Oxford and Hong Kong.

Merris Amos is a member of the Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of London. Sir Jack Beatson is a Justice of the High Court of England and Wales (Queen's Bench Division), and formerly Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, University of Cambridge. 

Dr Petra Butler is an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington and an Associate Director of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law. She is a fully qualified German lawyer and admitted as barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Alice Donald is Senior Research Fellow in the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute at London Metropolitan University. Simon Evans is Professor of Law at the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. 

Helen Fenwick is Professor of Law at Durham Law School and Co-Director of the Human Rights Centre.

Table of Contents

1: Roger Masterman and Ian Leigh: The United Kingdom's Human Rights Project in Constitutional and Comparative Perspective 

Part I-The Human Rights Act in Constitutional Perspective

2: Gavin Phillipson: The Human Rights Act, Dialogue and Constitutional Principles 

3: C.R.G. Murray: The Continuation of Politics, by other means: Judicial Dialogue under the Human Rights Act 1998 

4: Aidan O'Neill QC: Back to the Future?: Judges, Politicians and the Constitution in the New Scotland

Part II-Domestic Protections within a European Framework 

5: Roger Masterman: Deconstructing the Mirror Principle 

6: Merris Amos: From monologue to dialogue-the relationship between UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights 

Part III-A Permanent Revolution in Legal Reasoning?

7: Sir Jack Beatson: Human Rights and Judicial Technique 

8: Sir Rabinder Singh: The Impact of the Human Rights Act on Advocacy

Part IV-The Human Rights Act on the International Plane

9: Sir Anthony Mason: Human Rights and Legislative Supremacy

10: Simon Evans and Julia Watson: Australian Bills of Rights and the "New Commonwealth Model of Constitutionalism"

11: Petra Butler: Cross fertilisation of constitutional ideas: The Relationship between the Human Rights Act 1998 and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 

Part V-Amendment, Repeal or a Bill of Rights for the UK? 

12: Alice Donald: A Bill of Rights for the UK? Lessons from Overseas 

13: Helen Fenwick: Conservative Anti-HRA Rhetoric, the Bill of Rights "Solution" and the role of the Bill of Rights Commission

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