The scathing findings of the Home Affairs Select Committee report today on the work of the Independent Police Complaints Commission are a damning indictment of an overwhelmed and misfiring body that has completely lost the confidence of the public.
It’s been a busy week for CRB checks, with the Court of Appeal ruling that automatic disclosure of all convictions and cautions is incompatible with the Human Rights Act. So today, the latest blog on our new series of Common Values films features mother-of-five Rachael Cox, whose life was blighted by the CRB system.
Yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling on CRB checks was widely regarded as a triumph for human rights and common sense. The current system of automatic disclosure – regardless of relevance to the job at hand – is clearly disproportionate. That’s why the Court recognised that it’s incompatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the right to private life.
Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2013 – a day to remember all of those who died and suffered, not just during the Holocaust under Nazi persecution but in later genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Both yesterday and today, hundreds of HMD activities are taking place across Britain to remember the atrocities – and consider how individuals and communities can challenge ongoing hatred and discrimination.
Today the Government published its much-talked-about Bill to legalise same-sex civil marriage and same-sex marriage in places of worship. Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who introduced the legislation, said it will ensure “equal and fair” treatment of gay couples while maintaining the right to religious freedom by ensuring religious institutions that don’t wish to hold such ceremonies are not required to do so.
This week, the latest in our blog series on our new short films showcasing the importance of the Human Rights Act focuses on mother-of-two Diane Blood. Her sons were born in miraculous circumstances after her husband’s death. When it came to getting him legally recognised as the boys’ father, the HRA came to the rescue.
Yesterday in the High Court some extraordinarily brave women were told that their human rights claims against the Metropolitan Police will have to be heard in the secretive Investigatory Powers Tribunal. These women were all the subject of undercover policing that involved sexual encounters with police officers - in many cases these encounters became long term intimate relationships. The exposure of this police tactic has caused enormous embarrassment to the Met - hence their eagerness to have the claims heard in secret, without the women being allowed to hear the evidence and without a right of appeal. Thankfully the High Court yesterday ordered that other important parts of the claims could remain in the open High Court.
Last week we began our latest blog series on the Liberty website, to promote our new short films which highlight the importance of the Human Rights Act. The videos, launched as part of our Common Values campaign, focus on the stories of people from all walks of life who’ve seen the benefit of the legislation’s vital protections. This second instalment deals with the experiences of Nicholas Mercer.
Towards the end of last year the Commission on a Bill of Rights finally published its findings. The eventual Report exposed deep divisions, with leading civil liberties lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws QC and Lib Dem international law professor Philippe Sands QC producing a minority dissent defending the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.