CPD Hours Level
Conference expert panelInformation 6 UpdateInformation
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SRA Competency B


This conference will cover a wide range of highly topical human rights law issues. It will include an up-to-the-minute assessment of the international landscape on human rights; the need to anticipate human rights protection in the UK post-Brexit, and, specifically, will it matter if the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is no longer binding law in the UK?

All the speakers are highly experienced experts on the law of human rights and will provide you with a comprehensive update on essential present and future developments.

Conference Agenda

9.30am - 10.15am: The Current Context for Human Rights

Richard Clayton QC, 7 Bedford Row

This session will review the UK scene in the context of developments elsewhere:

  • Russia: the refusal to abide by Strasbourg judgments
  • Hungary: the Orbán Government's attack on the Constitutional Court and its rights jurisprudence
  • Turkey: Erdoğan Government's dismantlement of domestic rights guarantees
  • Poland: judicial independence and the Constitutional Court crisis
  • The 'Trump' effect

10.15am - 11.00am: Article 14 & the Equality Act - Discrimination Claims using the HRA in the Domestic Courts

Fiona Scolding QC, Landmark Chambers

Over the past ten years in a variety of fields the Courts have had to examine the duties owed by public bodies under Article 14 of the ECHR, alongside those under the Equality Act 2010. This session aims to provide up to date exploration of the case law in this area and how it can be used within litigation.

It will cover:

  • How has Article 14 been used to date?
  • What are the principles which emerge from the case law?
  • How could cases be framed?
  • Using Article 14 in strategic litigation

11.15am - 12.00pm: Recent Developments: Immigration and Human Rights

Declan O'Callaghan, Landmark Chambers

Immigration continues to be under the political spotlight as the Government pursues its 'hostile environment' towards illegal migration leading to measures being introduced by Parliament that seek to limit the enjoyment of non-derogable rights. Both domestic and European courts continue to be busy in assessing whether such steps are lawful.

This session will cover:

  • Power to remove pre-appeal hearing under section 94B
  • Article 8 and the Immigration Rules: The Supreme Court speaks
  • The right not to be subject to forced labour: state obligations towards trafficked persons
  • Deportation: the relevant of family life and children
  • Detention and the right to liberty
  • 'The hostile environment' and seeking human rights protection

12.00pm - 12.45pm: The Legacy of Fundamental Rights Within The EU

Jonathan Cooper, Doughty Street Chambers

From the earliest case law of the European Court of Justice, fundamental rights have been recognised as being an essential part of the European legal framework. They are now part and parcel of EU law and are enforced by courts across the EU as well as the Court of Justice of the EU.

What will happen to EU fundamental rights post Brexit? Can the EU rights we take for granted be given effect to without the Charter and EU fundamental rights?

This session will cover:

  • The origins of fundamental rights within the EU
  • The Charter with the European Convention on Human Rights and the wider human rights framework
  • How the Charter works and the impact of the UK's Protocol to it
  • The impact of the Charter to date on EU law
  • Particular EU Charter Rights including the right to dignity, data protection and the right to be forgotten
  • The differences between the EU Charter and the UK's framework for protecting human rights
  • The role of fundamental rights on those EU rights which become UK law post-Brexit. What happens if the Charter does not become part of UK law post-Brexit?

12.45pm - 1.00pm: Questions on Morning Session

2.00pm - 2.50pm: Recent Developments Relating to Criminal Records Disclosure

Quincy Whitaker, Doughty Street Chambers

The Court of Appeal have recently declared the government's revised scheme for criminal records disclosure to be incompatible with Article 8 ECHR in 3 linked cases - following the Supreme Court ruling that the previous scheme was incompatible in 2014.

  • Development of criminal records statutory disclosure scheme
  • Recent case law on revised statutory scheme
  • Overview of case law in relation to enhanced (non-conviction/'soft intelligence') disclosure
  • Future developments & possibilities for reform

2.50pm - 3.40pm: International Law before the Domestic Courts

Karen Steyn QC, 11 KBW

There has been a marked increase in recent years in the number of public law cases raising important points of public international law.

In particular, the Supreme Court has had to tackle such issues in several important judgments handed down this year.

This session will cover:

  • Serdar Mohammed: Modification of the ECHR through harmonious interpretation
  • Rahmatullah: Crown act of state in the 21st century
  • Belhaj: The anatomy of foreign act of state
  • Benkharbouche: Reconciling state immunity and access to justice

3.55pm - 4.45pm: Closing Address: The Human Rights Act & the Wider Human Rights Framework

Jonathan Cooper, Doughty Street Chambers

The Human Rights Act (HRA) was given Royal Assent nearly 20 years ago. Yet for much of its existence there have been threats to repeal the HRA despite the fact that there is no evidence that it does not work.

This session will:

  • Explore the strengths and weaknesses of the HRA and identify key developments under the HRA
  • Focus on particular rights under the HRA: protection from inhuman and degrading treatment; privacy and data protection; faith, religion and belief; property; and non-discrimination
  • Examine developments in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of Europe and the wider human rights framework applicable to the UK
  • Explain how that wider framework works and what options there are for UK lawyers in using the international human rights framework to increase remedies for their clients
  • Chart how the common law has protected human rights and what prospects there are for further developing common law human rights claims
  • Anticipate human rights protection in the UK post-Brexit. Does it matter if the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is no longer binding law in the UK?

4.45pm - Close: Questions & Answers

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Conference | 14.12.2017

London | 9:30am - 5:15pm

Human Rights Conference 2017

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9:30am - 5:15pm
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