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Response to Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights

Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights published its report today on The Human Rights Implications of Brexit.  The report can be found here.  With a number of colleagues, Professor John Tasioulas, Director of the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law, has co-authored a response to the report; What the JCHR Gets Wrong about Fundamental Rights.

In its report on The Human Rights Implications of Brexit, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) expresses great fear that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will do significant damage to the constitutional framework for protecting human rights. For reasons outlined in their submission to the JCHR, the report’s fear is misplaced and betrays important misunderstandings about human rights and their foundations. Fundamental human rights are not created by treaties with foreign powers. They are moral truths that states should recognise and to which they should give effect.  The UK has long had an enviable reputation for securing rights and for doing so by way of the ordinary processes of parliamentary democracy and common law adjudication.  

The response argues. among other points, that the 'UK’s record of protecting fundamental rights is the match of most countries in the EU and beyond' and that 'the report is wrong to assert that membership of the EU has been pivotal to the UK’s record of rights protection and that withdrawal puts the future of rights protection in doubt'. 

The full response can be found here.

The response was co-authored by; 

Gunnar Beck, 1 Essex Court, former advisor to the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons

Richard Ekins, Associate Professor, University of Oxford, Head of the Judicial Power Project

John Finnis, Professor Emeritus in the University of Oxford, Biolchini Family Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

Christopher Forsyth, Emeritus Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law, University of Cambridge

Graham Gee, Professor of Public Law, University of Sheffield

John Tasioulas, Yeoh Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law, King’s College, London