In the 2015 UK General Election, the Conservative party pledged to reset the UK's relations with Europe, holding an in-out referendum on membership of the European Union and repealing the Human Rights Act, to be replaced with a UK Bill of Rights. With the decision now taken to leave the EU, the future of the Human Rights Act and the UK's relations to the European Convention on Human Rights remains uncertain.
Conor Gearty, one of the country's leading experts on human rights, here dissects the myths and fantasies that drive English exceptionalism over Europe, and shape the case for repealing the Human Rights Act. He presents a passionate case for keeping the existing legal framework for protecting human rights and our relationship with the European Convention. Analysing the reform agenda from the perspective of British law, history, politics, and culture, he lays bare the misunderstandings of the
human rights system that have driven the debate so far.
Structured in three parts, the book first exposes the myths that drive the anti-Human Rights Act argument. Second, Gearty outlines how the Act operates in practice and what its impact really is on the ground. Third, he looks to the future and the kind of Britain we want to live in, and how, for all its modesty, the survival or otherwise of the Human Rights Act will play a pivotal part in that future.
Conor Gearty is Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at LSE, having previously worked at Cambridge University and at King's College London. His books include Can Human Rights Survive? (2006) and Liberty and Security (2013) as well as Freedom under Thatcher (1990) and The Struggle for Civil Liberties (2000) (both with Keith Ewing), and Civil Liberties (2007). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Bencher of Middle Temple and has honorary degrees from Sacred Heart University, University College Dublin, Roehampton, and Brunel Universities.