Saturday, November 2, 2019

The British Bill of Rights Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

The British Bill of Rights - Essay Example hout an enforceable Bill of Rights.6 "Great Britain was once a fortress for freedom. It claimed the great philosophers of liberty-Milton and Locke and Paine and Mill. Its legal tradition is irradiated with liberal ideas; that people accused of crime are presumed to be innocent, that no one owns another's conscience, that a man's home is his castle. But now Britain offers less formal legal protection to central freedom than most of its neighbours in Europe." Gordon and Wilmot-Smith argues that UK is not in a very satisfactory position when it comes to human rights-the elective dictatorship of the majority means that, by and large, the government of the day can get in its way, even if its majority is small.8 Gordon further explained- 'If its programme or its practice involves some derogation from huma... If it is a result of administrative practice, there may well be no basis upon which they can interfere. There is no higher law, no frame of reference to which they can properly appeal and none of this matter very much if human rights themselves are not thought to matter very much. But if the protection of its citizen's fundamental rights is genuinely seen as an important function of civil society, then it does matter. In saying this, I do not suggest-and I must stress this-that the present government or any of its predecessors has acted with wilful or cynical disregard of fundamental human rights.'9 The United Kingdom has endured for centuries with no written constitution, but absorbed a European regional Charter of Rights in 2000.10 An example of its consequence, because parliament has not authorised the British courts to provide remedies, victims of human rights abuses have to take the long and expensive road trips to Strasbourg to secure justice; and while the convention has been used to extend and protect some of the people's basic liberties in the face of increasing authoritarian state power, the decisions of the judges of the European Court are often disappointingly narrow.11 There is an ongoing debate about whether or not there should be a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom.12 Thomas Jefferson opined that 'a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth'.13 Truly, bills of rights have assumed particular and renewed importance in an extraordinary number of countries in all parts of the world.14 Furthermore, Alston reasons that any bill of rights worthy of the name should express some basic principles of equality, human dignity and non-discrimination,

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