19 February 2009 – A report by UCL Student Human Rights Programme Compiled for the Convention on Modern Liberty
One of the problems with the erosion of liberty in Britain over the last decade was that the public failed to pay attention to what was happening in Parliament. Laws that fundamentally challenged our traditions of rights and liberty and flew in the face of the Human Rights Act (“HRA”) were passed with relatively little debate. Few grasped the impact they would have on our society and Ministers were able to brush aside protests with assurances that their desire to protect us was equal to their respect for civil liberties.
The difficulty campaigners faced was to press home the argument about the scale of the loss. An account was needed to show that the legislative programme, which swept away centuries old rights and transferred so much power from the individual to the state, actually existed.
Now we have that evidence and the Convention on Modern Liberty can demonstrate with confidence what Britain has lost and discuss how this crisis of liberty took root in one of the world’s oldest democracies and what to do about it. This report by the UCL Student Human Rights Programme (“UCLSHRP”) is a concise and approachable inventory of the loss. It is a profoundly disturbing document, even for those who thought they knew about the subject, for it not only describes the wholesale removal of rights that were apparently protected by the HRA and set down nearly 800 years ago in Magna Carta, it also shows how the unarticulated liberties that we assumed were somehow guaranteed by British culture have been compromised.
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/19606667/What-We-Have-Lost