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Fixing Human Rights Law

Dr Michael Arnheim, September 2023

Fixing Human Rights Law by Dr. Michael Arnheim, a practising barrister, Sometime Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and author of 23 published books to date, provides an overview of what has gone wrong with contemporary human rights legislation – while suggesting ‘revocation’ by parliament is the best way forward.

Focusing on the solution that any judicial decision on human rights law can be revoked by parliament through a statute, Arnheim considers this weapon in parliament’s arsenal is surprisingly unknown to many, hardly an exceptional power, and yet an integral part of parliamentary sovereignty – the bedrock principle of the British constitution.

For Arnheim, human rights law is about everybody’s human rights – the human rights of the mass of law-abiding citizens – and not just the rights of the small minority of special interest groups championed by the self-styled ‘human rights’ lobby.

Arnheim advocates preventing illegal migrants from setting foot on British soil, and proposes that asylum applications must be made offshore. He shows that neither the Human Rights Act nor the Refugee Convention prevents the deportation of illegal migrants.

It also examines public sector strikes, on which Dr. Arnheim argues that contrary to some strike advocates, there is no fundamental right to strike – and yet strikes deny thousands of people their rights to healthcare, travel and simply the right to go about their business without let or hindrance, while seriously impacting the national economy.

The author finds that with an ongoing lack of clarity, predictability and accessibility in UK law, what exists in Britain is not the ‘Rule of Law’ as is often claimed, but its polar opposite: the rule of lawyers and judges, or judge-made law, which remains an infringement of parliament’s legislative supremacy.

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