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    (Original post by Albangura)
    Are you honestly saying that the War on Iraq, 42 day terror bill etc had cross party support? The Lords wouldn't have the power to block and hold out against a Bill of Rights
    Actually significant constitutional change, by convention requires both houses to agree. Same reason why the government brokered a deal over the hereditary peers in 1999 rather than use the parliament act...it just cant. Hence the lords could still block the bill/ give the government second thoughts or use a suspensory veto (which would actually be highly likely i think) to delay it and cause problems.
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    (Original post by Solid_Snake_100)
    Actually significant constitutional change, by convention requires both houses to agree. Same reason why the government brokered a deal over the hereditary peers in 1999 rather than use the parliament act...it just cant. Hence the lords could still block the bill/ give the government second thoughts or use a suspensory veto (which would actually be highly likely i think) to delay it and cause problems.
    I'm aware than in practice it would be extremely difficult for the ruling party to achieve a Bill of Rights through the Commons, due to mass public outcry. :p: But it might need to be considered how different the Founding Fathers situation was, and the political situation in the UK now. Also, if a referendum was used then the political support for a party may well come in to play for many voters, so maybe Cameron when (or if:rolleyes: ) he gets in?

    Mind you I don't think a Bill of Rights will ever actually happen!
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    (Original post by Albangura)
    I'm aware than in practice it would be extremely difficult for the ruling party to achieve a Bill of Rights through the Commons, due to mass public outcry. :p: But it might need to be considered how different the Founding Fathers situation was, and the political situation in the UK now. Also, if a referendum was used then the political support for a party may well come in to play for many voters, so maybe Cameron when (or if:rolleyes: ) he gets in?

    Mind you I don't think a Bill of Rights will ever actually happen!
    I dont think it will either, its just too hard/impossible to implement, pretty pointless and bad in my eyes (because of the entrenchment which I hate), and at the end of the day, why the hell would any government curtail its powers this much??? Answer = It wont.
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    (Original post by Constante)
    Do we really need more rights?

    The universal declaration of rights, British law, the pathetic human rights act etc, surely uphold peoples rights enough? Creating a new bill of rights just seems like a petty political gesture.
    The Universal Declaration does not have any substantive legal effect in UK law. This British Bill of Rights is suggested to replace the Human Rights Act - although I don't see why you'd suggest the latter is 'pathetic'.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    The Universal Declaration does not have any substantive legal effect in UK law. This British Bill of Rights is suggested to replace the Human Rights Act - although I don't see why you'd suggest the latter is 'pathetic'.
    Weak, easily overuled and with no real effect on British legislation... Needs strengthening IMO.
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    (Original post by kiddranc)
    People say this would undermine parliamentary sovereignty, but so what?

    Is it wise, in a liberal democracy, to have a legislature that can make any law it wants? In a democracy, aren't the rights of the people supposed to be respected and not violated by the state? Does the USA work any worse due to its Bill of Rights and lack of parliamentary sovereignty? What about Canada, which might be a better example since its political system is a carbon copy of our own?
    I agree that Parliamentary sovereignty is a bad thing, but a Bill of Rights written today would simply enshrine the present government's authoritarianism into irremovable constitutional law. There isn't really a lot wrong with the 1688 Bill of Rights. Why not make that a constitution?
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    (Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
    Weak, easily overuled and with no real effect on British legislation... Needs strengthening IMO.
    If you only understand blunt force, I don't really think the British style of government is for you. However in the meantime, the HRA is working and is certainly having a real effect on British legislation.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    If you only understand blunt force, I don't really think the British style of government is for you. However in the meantime, the HRA is working and is certainly having a real effect on British legislation.
    No, I understand the effects its having-but at the same time it is being ignored to some extent (Look at the Terrorism Act, 42 Days etc etc) both formally, via the previously mentioned legislation, and informally. Yes judges can rule actions incompatable with it but they can't actually stop the actions of the government or stop legislation going through.

    The problem with the British mode of government is that it relys on the good sense of those in charge to respect its conventions and legislation-and not to abuse the huge amount of power they have through the control of the executive and legislature. As we have frequently seen this power is frequently and easily abused-partly as most people do not understand the constitution (particually the general public, hell even Lord Norton accepts that he dosn't completly understand it) and partly because it is so weak and esily changed. Every law changes the constitution-we have no protection from the government at all, outside of 5 yearly elections, and even those could, theoretically, be suspeded if the government wished.

    In short HRA is only effective if a government respects it-and it can be abolished on a wilm. We need a stronger, entrenched version, a Bill of Rights, to protect our key rights.
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    (Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
    No, I understand the effects its having-but at the same time it is being ignored to some extent (Look at the Terrorism Act, 42 Days etc etc)
    Well, I think terrorism law is a good example of how it is working: after all, the declaration of incompatibility relating to the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act was quickly responded to and resulted in the offending provisions being repealed.

    As for 42 days detention - I think we're at risk of mixing up issues here: that is a political one, not a human rights one.

    Yes judges can rule actions incompatable with it but they can't actually stop the actions of the government or stop legislation going through.
    Well, they can actually stop actions of officials that are incompatible. No, they cannot actually strike down incompatible legislation - but so what? If the effect is the same, why do we need change?

    The problem with the British mode of government is that it relys on the good sense of those in charge to respect its conventions and legislation-and not to abuse the huge amount of power they have through the control of the executive and legislature. As we have frequently seen this power is frequently and easily abused
    Really? For centuries we've been marked as one of the most liberal societies on earth.

    we have no protection from the government at all, outside of 5 yearly elections, and even those could, theoretically, be suspeded if the government wished.
    We have Parliament, which has served as an excellent protection against government power. No, the government cannot extend its tenure or suspend elections past five years, that would require amendment to the Parliament Acts.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Well, I think terrorism law is a good example of how it is working: after all, the declaration of incompatibility relating to the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act was quickly responded to and resulted in the offending provisions being repealed.

    As for 42 days detention - I think we're at risk of mixing up issues here: that is a political one, not a human rights one.
    I believe that only some of the offending provisions where removed as a result (though I may be wrong here). 42 days is a human rights issue-and incompatable with HRA IMO-its basically interment.


    Well, they can actually stop actions of officials that are incompatible. No, they cannot actually strike down incompatible legislation - but so what? If the effect is the same, why do we need change?
    Indeed, but they could do that before by Ultra Vires anyways. The problem we have here is that the effect has been the same so far, but the potental is still there to ignore HRA in passing a act whenever the government wants. It is only in force as long as the government respects it.


    Really? For centuries we've been marked as one of the most liberal societies on earth.
    Yes, really. For the first you have to compare with the other societys of the time-we have always been less Liberal than the US, for example. More than that we rely on our politicans to respect that liberty, which they don't always do-Interment in Northern Ireland, the repression of the minders strike, repression of the general strike etc.

    We have Parliament, which has served as an excellent protection against government power. No, the government cannot extend its tenure or suspend elections past five years, that would require amendment to the Parliament Acts.
    It would do, but they can do it through a simple act of Parliment-and that is the problem-so long as we rely soley on politicans good nature and good sense we are very vunrable to having our freedoms removed through a simple act of parliment. Just because it has worked to an extent so far dosn't mean it always will.
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    (Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
    I believe that only some of the offending provisions where removed as a result (though I may be wrong here).
    Yup, you're wrong.
    42 days is a human rights issue-and incompatable with HRA IMO-its basically interment.
    42 days is absolutely compatible with the HRA. I don't see why extending the time from 28-days to 42-days makes it 'internment' rather than detention; are you really suggesting that the police can't arrest and hold people for any amount of time?

    Indeed, but they could do that before by Ultra Vires anyways. The problem we have here is that the effect has been the same so far, but the potental is still there to ignore HRA in passing a act whenever the government wants. It is only in force as long as the government respects it.
    Ultra Vires is something completely and totally different, and it does not allow for any investigation of the merits or human rights implications of an officials actions, whatsoever. Of course the potential is there for the government to ignore the HRA if it wants, in exactly the same way that it could ignore the bill if it wants.
    What the HRA does, through an amazingly strong duty on the courts to interpret the law in accordance with the ECHR, is it forces Parliament to legislate very clearly and expressly if they want to override human rights; and it would mean that the courts would declare this legislation inconsistent with the human rights act. i.e. it makes it very very obvious to everyone what is going on.

    long as we rely soley on politicans good nature and good sense we are very vunrable to having our freedoms removed through a simple act of parliment.
    Logically, if Parliament could pass a bill of rights it could also revoke it. The way the HRA forces Parliament to be crystal clear if it is legislating contrary to human rights (this has never happened) is the best possible defence in a democratic system.

    It is simply ludicrous to deny that the HRA hasn't had great effect. It has caused quick updating of much old legislation, e.g. allowing women to benefit as much as men, and homosexuals just as much as heterosexuals under the Housing Acts.
    It has forced a development of privacy actions; it is not long ago that it was held perfectly legal under English law for the home secretary to tap people's telephone lines without any sort of reasonable suspicion that they were up to no good or any sort of court order.
    It has forced a rethink of rules on Adverse Possession; you can generally no longer get title to land just by occupying it for 12years.
    It has been invoked as a means to protect children in care who had been simply abandoned by the system and not looked after properly by local authority's, given that there are very few ways to really enforce the local authority's obligations to care for children in care properly.
    I could go on, the HRA has had a great effect all across the law.
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    (Original post by WharfedaleTiger)
    I believe that only some of the offending provisions where removed as a result (though I may be wrong here). 42 days is a human rights issue-and incompatable with HRA IMO-its basically interment.
    Oh no, it's far from internment. Indeed, it is not a blanket measure - only in the extreme cases would anyone actually be detained for that long, and it cannot be upon an idle whim. There are safeguards, and there is a spirit of 'only where necessary'.

    It was designed to be compatible with the HRA. Whether it is or not is, of course, a matter for the courts: but I'd put my money on them approving.

    The problem we have here is that the effect has been the same so far, but the potental is still there to ignore HRA in passing a act whenever the government wants. It is only in force as long as the government respects it.
    Indeed so (well, Parliament, rather than the government really) - but that has been the basis of British governance for centuries: our government is limited not by force, but by respect and convention.

    Yes, really. For the first you have to compare with the other societys of the time-we have always been less Liberal than the US, for example. More than that we rely on our politicans to respect that liberty, which they don't always do-Interment in Northern Ireland, the repression of the minders strike, repression of the general strike etc.
    Since Radicalism in the early 19th century, I think we've been quite good in terms of liberalism. Internment in Northern Ireland was against the backdrop of a massive civil disturbance.

    Just because it has worked to an extent so far dosn't mean it always will.
    One could equally say that making an enforceable rule does not make it unbreakable.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Oh no, it's far from internment. Indeed, it is not a blanket measure - only in the extreme cases would anyone actually be detained for that long, and it cannot be upon an idle whim. There are safeguards, and there is a spirit of 'only where necessary'.

    It was designed to be compatible with the HRA. Whether it is or not is, of course, a matter for the courts: but I'd put my money on them approving.
    42 days is a long time to be held without trail, it is basically interment. Your holding someone-even with some weak safeguards-for well over a month, and there is no gaurentee of them being tried. Is 42 days really nescarry anyways? The Police and MI5 don't appear to think so, but thats another debate...


    Indeed so (well, Parliament, rather than the government really) - but that has been the basis of British governance for centuries: our government is limited not by force, but by respect and convention.
    Which is my problem with it, respect and convention are very weak checks and rely on rational governence. That is not always gaurenteed, theres more than enough example of countries where less than rational governence has been implimented, even our own governments have been known to break covention if its suits them for minor matters (Portillo in 1995).

    Since Radicalism in the early 19th century, I think we've been quite good in terms of liberalism. Internment in Northern Ireland was against the backdrop of a massive civil disturbance.
    Agreed, and its one of the thing that I love about the British system and people, how we havn't really overly restricted civil liberties. But now I'm not so sure at all-the powers that the government holds worry me immensley, I don't think that mere convention and rationalism is enough to hold them.

    One could equally say that making an enforceable rule does not make it unbreakable.
    It does, however, make it far harder to break.
 
 
 
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