The coalition government is no longer a novelty. Well into its second year, what is its record on human rights – and, more importantly, what is the direction of travel?

The government set up a commission on a British Bill of Rights in March 2011 to, in Nick Clegg’s words,
“…help us maintain, and build upon, an enduring framework of fundamental rights that will prevent the abuse and erosion of these freedoms for generations to come.”

Can such lofty ambition survive policy developments justified by the need to respond to financial crisis? Immigration has been restricted and employment rights threatened. Massive cuts in legal aid may lead to rights without effective remedy. And the government’s own human rights watchdog – the Equality and Human Rights Commission – faces a 60% budget cut.

The Bill of Rights Commission has arisen, at least in part, because of government’s frustration with decisions in the courts. But it is the issue of privacy – and specifically the granting of superinjunctions – that has brought the judges into the spotlight and earned them the ire of Parliamentarians and the media.

On the legislative front, after many years of reports and draft bills, the Bribery Act 2010 finally came into force on 1 July 2011.

All these issues and more will be covered by the Human Rights Law Conference – from the broad brush of government policy to the fine detail that affects the day-to-day work of practitioners and policy-makers. Now in its 13th year, this conference provides comprehensive and expert analysis, ensuring you are fully up-to-date with all the latest developments across a wide range of issues.


  • What’s new and why it matters – a comprehensive review of the past year
  • Parliament and the courts – are the judges stepping up to the plate or over the line in defending the rule of law?
  • A British Bill of Rights – building on the European Convention or undermining its foundations?
  • Privacy and superinjunctions – where will a report, a draft bill and a Parliamentary committee leave the balance between Article 8 ECHR (private life) and Article 10 (freedom of expression)?
  • Equality and discrimination – does the government’s review of employment law threaten hard-won rights?
  • Immigration and asylum – what are the implications of key decisions in the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the UK Supreme Court?
  • Sentencing – will the government’s proposals deliver on its promise to ‘break the cycle’ of re-offending and an ever-growing prison population?
  • DNA retention – where does GC v Metropolitan Police leave this controversial issue?
  • The Bribery Act 2010 – a new broom to sweep away corruption, or itself corrupted by last-minute lobbying?


Specialist breakout sessions, each run by leading experts, will provide in-depth coverage of particularly topical areas:

  • Criminal law
  • Equality
  • Immigration and asylum
  • Judicial review
  • The Bribery Act
  • Privacy, defamation and superinjunctions


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