Part of the 2015 Civil Society Seminar Series, this seminar explored differences in human rights discourses across the constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
This seminar explored differences in human rights discourses across the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. In the wake of political debates over proposals to repeal the Human Rights Act (1998) and leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) fault lines on human rights have appeared between the countries of the United Kingdom and their respective political leaders. Wales’ express commitment to the UN Convention on Rights of the Child as the basis for policy-making for children and young people in 2004 as well as Scotland’s and Northern Ireland’s commitments to the ECHR through the Scotland Act (1998) and the Good Friday Agreement provide additional hurdles for a UK government proposing to change European influence on human rights laws. This seminar linked to a number of questions such as – how much do political discourses on human rights differ between the countries of the United Kingdom? Are such differences a result of expectations from civil society? What role is there for civil society in influencing discourse on human rights? And, finally, maybe the most important question. What do the citizens of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland think about human rights and proposals to withdraw from the main European framework protecting them?