Latest Human Rights Act News

Facebook diplomacy: UMass reverses policy prohibiting Iranians from some courses

“Students at the UMass who began a Facebook petition contacted our organization through Facebook last Thursday and we immedia…

  • Push for gay protections in Idaho stirs emotional debate
    Push for gay protections in Idaho stirs emotional debate Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Bishop Brian Thom stood quietly in front of Idaho lawmakers, hastily collecting his thoughts before responding to a question in a room packed with supporters of religious freedom and hundreds of gay rights advocates. More »

  • Lawmakers hear heated testimony about sex-orientation bill
    Lawmakers hear heated testimony about sex-orientation bill Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Supporters of religious freedom went toe-to-toe Monday against hundreds of gay rights advocates who had waited nearly a decade to speak in the Idaho Legislature for a measure that would create protections for gay and lesbian people in the state. More »

  • Britain 'Failing' To Deport Foreign Criminals
    Britain 'Failing' To Deport Foreign Criminals Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    More than 150 violent foreign offenders have been allowed to continue living in Britain rather than being considered for deportation, a report has revealed. The report from MPs on the Committee of Public Accounts said there had been a "complete failure" by the Home Office to deal with the problem of removing foreign criminals from the country. The "dysfunctional system" must be urgently improved to make sure foreign nationals who have been jailed for more than one year are automatically considered for deportation, as the rules demand, they said. More »

  • Sunday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • Judge: Norway violated Minnesota's equal-pay law
    Judge: Norway violated Minnesota's equal-pay law Thu, Jan 1, 2015

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Norwegian government violated Minnesota's equal-pay laws by paying a female former employee $30,000 less than a male counterpart, a federal judge has ruled. More »

  • Obama has power to further weaken Cuba sanctions
    Obama has power to further weaken Cuba sanctions Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    By Anna Yukhananov and Alistair Bell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has the power to further weaken U.S. sanctions against the Communist-run island beyond the normalization of relations with Havana that he announced on Wednesday, sanctions experts said. While the restoration of diplomatic ties to Havana after decades of animosity was a big breakthrough, the real obstacle to normal ties between the two countries is the decades-old embargo. With Republicans due to take control of both the U.S. ... More »

  • After first big step, U.S. faces long path to forge ties to Cuba Wed, Dec 17, 2014

    By Alistair Bell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The renewal of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba could be the start of a long thaw in decades of animosity but the path is full of obstacles, not least the U.S. sanctions on the Communist-run island. The embargo is enshrined in law, most notably the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which tightened bans on U.S. companies trading with Cuba and Americans visiting the country. ... More »

  • Hilary Benn MP and Sadiq Khan MP: We need to give English MPs a greater say … Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    Hilary Benn and Sadiq Khan back proposals to allow English MPs exclusive rights to scrutinise and amend legislation applying only to England. More »

  • We need to give English MPs a greater say over English laws Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    Labour has a proud record of delivering on political and constitutional reform, and on devolution. Between 1997 and 2010 we brought in freedom of information, created a Supreme Court, abolished most of the hereditary peers and protected people’s fundamental freedoms through the Human Rights Act. On devolution, it was Labour that devolved power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and returned to the people of London their city-wide government. And Labour has led the fight to defend the Union and will continue to do so. ... More »

  • Spying techniques exposed by Snowden not unlawful - UK watchdog
    Spying techniques exposed by Snowden not unlawful - UK watchdog Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - British spies did not break laws guaranteeing human rights when they used mass monitoring techniques revealed by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the country's surveillance watchdog ruled on Friday. A host of civil rights groups and privacy campaigners, including Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, had argued the tactics used by Britain's three security agencies and disclosed by Snowden to the media last year did not comply with the UK's Human Rights Act. ... More »

  • District ordered to pay transgender student $75K
    District ordered to pay transgender student $75K Tue, Dec 2, 2014

    ORONO, Maine (AP) — A Maine court has awarded the family of a transgender girl $75,000 in a settlement of her discrimination lawsuit against a school district where administrators made her use a staff, not student, bathroom. More »

  • Andy Slaughter MP: SARAH Bill shows Government has run out of ideas Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter describes the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill as the "last gasp of a Government that has run out of things to say".At Conservative Party Conference, Chris Grayling, was introduced as a man who "believes in the cause of justice like no other”.And it is true. He is like no other Lord Chancellor in the damage he has wrought on the justice system.Cuts to civil Legal Aid mean hundreds of thousands of people every year cannot now get advice or representation with housing, debt, social security, immigration or family law problems.The privatisation of the probation service means inadequate supervision of high risk offenders.Cuts in prison staffing mean inmates spend most of their time in cells rather than at work or study. And suicide rates have shot up.Victims are ignored, courts are closed, judicial review of government decisions is being curtailed and – if re-elected – the Human Rights Act will be repealed.Alongside all of this the Bill that limps through its final Commons stages today is small beer.But the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill (SARAH) is still an insight into how the law takes second place to vested interests under this GovernmentThere are only five short clauses in the Bill, requiring a court considering a negligence claim to have regard to whether a defendant was acting for the benefit of society, demonstrating a generally responsible approach or acting heroically.To what purpose?Reception among commentators and the legal blogs has been so negative that even ConservativeHome found space to question the need for its existence.The only Coalition MP to speak in the Second Reading debate was former Solicitor General Sir Edward Garnier. He had a “horrible suspicion that the Bill would become the subject of derision” and was “more like an early-day motion than a proper statute”.At Committee Stage only five of 24 witnesses invited by the Government to give evidence on the merits of the Bill attended, and most of those expressed dismay at its incoherence.This could be the first Bill ever to boast that it does not intend to change the law but only exhort a change in behaviour. Is this really the function of legislation?Of course we should encourage people to volunteer and step in to help in an emergency. But, as St John’s Ambulance noted, the Government would be better putting resources into training first aiders so they could help in a crisis.And there is one Clause of this Bill that is mischievous. Those who cause harm by negligence but are generally competent should have that taken into account if they cause harm by their negligence.Another sop to the insurance industry and to employers who want to escape liability for injuries caused at work.SARAH is the last gasp of a Government that has run out of things to say or do. But it is also an indicator of how a future Tory government would weight the dice in favour or their funders and supporters even if this means undermining long-set principles of common law.2014Dods Parliamentary Communications Ltd. More »

  • Cameron: 'A Vote For UKIP Is A Vote For Labour'
    Cameron: 'A Vote For UKIP Is A Vote For Labour' Sun, Oct 19, 2014

    David Cameron has launched a fresh effort to try to persuade would-be UKIP voters to support the Conservatives, warning it would be a "terrible irony" if voting for Nigel Farage's party led to Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister. More »

  • David Cameron 'Can't Be Bothered' to Take Part in Tuesday's …
    David Cameron 'Can't Be Bothered' to Take Part in Tuesday's … Tue, Oct 14, 2014

    Scottish nationalists have criticised Prime Minister David Cameron, claiming he "can't be bothered" to take part in today's important debate on Scottish devolution. More »

  • Lib Dems Want Council Tax Rise For Rich
    Lib Dems Want Council Tax Rise For Rich Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    The rich should shoulder more of the burden for cutting the deficit and pay higher council tax, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has said. More »

  • Ed Miliband: Tories Scraping Human Rights Act a 'Disaster for Gay, Elderly …
    Ed Miliband: Tories Scraping Human Rights Act a 'Disaster for Gay, Elderly … Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    Ed Miliband has said the Tory's plans to scrap the Human Rights Act for a Bill of Rights would be a "disaster" for the gay, elderly and disabled people of Britain. More »

  • Cameron threatens to ignore European Court of Human Rights rulings
    Cameron threatens to ignore European Court of Human Rights rulings Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    By Neil Maidment and Sarah Young LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party toughened its stance on Europe on Friday, announcing a pre-election plan to quit the European Court of Human Rights unless it agrees that Britain's parliament has the final say over its rulings. Cameron, who is seeking to counter a growing threat from the anti-European Union UK Independence Party in May's national election, has said rulings by the European rights court had prevented Britain deporting suspected militants. ... More »

  • Scotland Will Ignore Tory Threat to Scrap EU Human Rights Act
    Scotland Will Ignore Tory Threat to Scrap EU Human Rights Act Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    Scotland will continue to follow the conventions set out by the European Union on human rights even if Westminster follows through on 3 October's threat to withdraw, the Scottish secretary has said. More »

  • Conservative Party Threat to Scrap Human Rights Act 'Would Turn Britain …
    Conservative Party Threat to Scrap Human Rights Act 'Would Turn Britain … Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    The Tory government's plans to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights will effectively turn Britain into a dictatorship, according to civil rights groups. More »

  • Tories Reveal Plans To Scrap Human Rights Act
    Tories Reveal Plans To Scrap Human Rights Act Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    A Tory government would scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights giving British judges and Parliament the final say on rulings. More »

  • Cameron Pledges £7bn Tax Giveaway To Millions
    Cameron Pledges £7bn Tax Giveaway To Millions Thu, Oct 2, 2014

    David Cameron has promised to raise the 40p tax threshold to £50,000 if the Tories win another five years in power as part of a £7bn tax giveaway. More »

  • Eyeing 2015 vote, Cameron pledges 7 billion pounds in tax cuts
    Eyeing 2015 vote, Cameron pledges 7 billion pounds in tax cuts Thu, Oct 2, 2014

    By Andrew Osborn and William James BIRMINGHAM England (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hand almost half the British population a tax cut if re-elected next year, a pledge he hopes will win over millions of voters and refocus debate away from a schism inside his party over Europe. The promise, which will cost over 7 billion pounds to fund, was a calculated gambit to try to shift the narrative from one which has focussed on the damage the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) is doing to Cameron's re-election hopes by siphoning off voters and lawmakers. ... More »

  • UK leader promises tax cuts, EU battle
    UK leader promises tax cuts, EU battle Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Squeezed between insurgent anti-Europeans, a skittish party and suspicious voters, Britain's prime minister promised a tough stance on the EU and tax cuts for millions in a bid to bolster support for his Conservative Party before a national election next year. More »

  • Conservative Conference 2014: David Cameron's Old-Time Religion Lifted the …
    Conservative Conference 2014: David Cameron's Old-Time Religion Lifted the … Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    It started in near-terminal panic at the prospect of Nigel Farage torpedoing David Cameron's big election-launching speech by unveiling another high-profile defection from the Tory ranks to his "people's army". More »

  • Cameron pledges tax cuts with eye on UKIP
    Cameron pledges tax cuts with eye on UKIP Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    Prime Minister David Cameron detailed his plan for winning the 2015 general election Wednesday with a raft of measures designed to help struggling Britons and shut down support for the UK Independence Party. More »

  • 2 Chicago men sue taxi company over brief kiss Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    CHICAGO (AP) — Two Chicago men sued a taxi company this week, alleging a driver tried to kick them out of his cab because they shared a short kiss. More »

  • Labour Launches Human Rights Campaign With Sir Patrick Stewart, Eddie Izzard …
    Labour Launches Human Rights Campaign With Sir Patrick Stewart, Eddie Izzard … Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    Women, victims of rape, the elderly, the disabled, the LGBT community and working people, will all suffer if David Cameron goes ahead with plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, and withdraw from the European convention on human rights, Labour says in a new campaign. The Labour Party has thrown its support behind a group of celebrities, human rights organisations, victims, unions, lawyers, and other human rights supporters in a vigorous defence of Britain's human rights laws. Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "Human rights are an essential tool for protecting people from abuse of power. Through the website Ourhumanrights.org, the campaign was launched in the wake of Cameron's decision to sack Dominic Grieve as attorney general in last month's Cabinet reshuffle. More »

  • Adversaries seize chance to lecture U.S. on Ferguson unrest Wed, Aug 20, 2014

    By Angus MacSwan LONDON (Reuters) - Governments scolded by the United States over their human rights records have seized on racial unrest and a police crackdown in the Missouri town of Ferguson to wag their fingers back in disapproval. Adversaries and uneasy allies from Russia and Iran to China and Egypt have accused the United States of hypocrisy as images of police brandishing lethal weapons and tear-gassing protesters have been shown around the world. Many of the countries draw criticism of their own democratic credentials from independent rights group as well as the U.S. Nonetheless, activists say the events in Ferguson, where the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman has provoked 11 nights of protests, undermine the United States' credibility in criticising others. More »

  • Egypt urges U.S. restraint over Missouri unrest Tue, Aug 19, 2014

    CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt on Tuesday urged U.S. authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri - echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year. U.S. foes Iran and Syria also lambasted the United States, but while they are frequent critics of Washington, it is unusual for Egypt to criticise such a major donor. It was not immediately clear why Egypt would issue such a statement. ... More »

  • Tuesday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • New Mexico woman sues employer over medical pot Thu, Aug 7, 2014

    A New Mexico physician's assistant who also is a medical marijuana patient says one of the state's largest health care providers violated her rights when it fired her following a positive drug test. Donna ... More »

  • Deepcut: New Pte Cheryl James Inquest Ordered
    Deepcut: New Pte Cheryl James Inquest Ordered Fri, Jul 18, 2014

    A fresh inquest has been ordered into the death of Private Cheryl James, who died at Deepcut barracks in 1995. Des and Doreen James applied for a new inquest after the Human Rights Act was used to get access to documents about their daughter's death. "Something went dreadfully wrong at Deepcut, yet until now no-one has bothered to look at how and why our daughter died. Privates Sean Benton, James Collinson and Geoff Gray also died from gunshot wounds. More »

  • Clegg In Tory 'Headbangers' And 'Tyrants' Jibe
    Clegg In Tory 'Headbangers' And 'Tyrants' Jibe Thu, Jul 17, 2014

    Nick Clegg has branded his Tory colleagues "headbangers" and said they wanted to line up along with "Putin and other tyrants". The Deputy Prime Minister said he had been "blindsided" by the Conservatives' proposal to push ahead with plans to limit the power of the European Court of Human Rights in the UK. Mr Clegg said the reshuffle, which saw opponents of the move such as Ken Clarke and Attorney General Dominic Grieve removed from post, had shown the Tory "headbangers have now won". David Cameron has been presented with proposals for a British bill of rights by a working group of Conservative lawyers, which would assert the sovereignty of Parliament, according to the BBC. More »

  • Prison book ban: Protestors hold up Crime and Punishment as Grayling gives  …
    Prison book ban: Protestors hold up Crime and Punishment as Grayling gives  … Wed, Jul 9, 2014

    Chris Grayling's session in front of the justice committee was framed by protestors holding up copies of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment from the public gallery today. More »

  • U.S. in sanctions talks with Commerzbank and Deutsche - source
    U.S. in sanctions talks with Commerzbank and Deutsche - source Tue, Jul 8, 2014

    By Thomas Atkins and Alexander Hübner FRANKFURT (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have begun settlement talks with Germany's Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank over their dealings with countries blacklisted by the United States, extending a crackdown on European banks at a delicate point in U.S.-German relations. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment. Washington has come down hard on European banks that have evaded their sanctions, imposing a record fine on France's BNP Paribas last week and stoking resentment among bankers and officials at what they see as U.S. imperialism. More »