Of all our Human Rights Act’s fundamental freedoms, none attracts controversy like Article 8 – the right to a private and family life. Barely a day passes without it being demonised. Only a week ago the Home Secretary launched another attack on the judiciary’s handling of Article 8 in immigration cases.
Another chapter in Coalition rows over Constitutional reform ended today with the conclusion of its 18-month commission on a British Bill of Rights. The final report exposed deep divisions. Labour Peer and leading civil liberties lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws QC and Lib Dem International Law Professor Philippe Sands QC produced a minority dissent defending the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights.
Of all the fundamental freedoms protected by the Human Rights Act, none attracts controversy quite like Article 8 – the right to respect for your private and family life. Barely a day passes without it hitting the headlines for apparently all the wrong reasons. Flicking through certain newspapers you would be forgiven for concluding that it exists only to shield foreign murderers and rapists from deportation.
A hearing examining the controversial use of covert surveillance by a local authority begins today. This landmark case is the first time these powers – granted to local authorities under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) – will be challenged at an open hearing before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.