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The Legal Protection of Human RightsSceptical Essays$
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Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing, and Adam Tomkins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606078.001.0001

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Amateur Operatics: The Realization of Parliamentary Protection of Civil Liberties

Amateur Operatics: The Realization of Parliamentary Protection of Civil Liberties

(p.428) 21 Amateur Operatics: The Realization of Parliamentary Protection of Civil Liberties
The Legal Protection of Human Rights

Jonathan Morgan

Oxford University Press

This chapter combines trenchant criticism of the UK Human Rights Act 1998 and an innovative suggestion for its radical modification. The critical element concentrates on Sections 3 and 4 of the HRA and the thesis that they make for a dialogue between courts and Parliament. It then goes on to present the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) as part of the culture of compliance in which legislatures try to predict and pre-empt adverse judicial decisions. The proposals for reform include repealing Section 4 and amending Section 3 to make it clear that interpretation cannot include distorting the meaning of the statutory language. The JCHR could then operate more politically. More radically, the chapter also suggests that there should be provision for courts to adjourn particular cases of apparent injustices arising from legislation and refer them to a new body the ‘High Court of Parliament’ which would combine investigative and judicial methods to determine the matter and, if necessary, introduce an amendment to the offending legislation.

Keywords:   UK Human Rights Act, dialogue, Joint Committee on Human Rights, interpretation, High Court of Parliament

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