Does the UK need a Bill of Rights?

As you can tell from some of my sarcastic posts on, I’m quite interested in the subject of rights and freedoms as they currently stand in the United Kingdom. It’s one of the few democracies where there is no constitution, and the rights of the citizens (or “subjects”) are defined solely by parliament. A further problem in the UK is the creation of DNA databases, other databases and surveillance technology without parliament even fulfilling its duty to create laws to govern these things. Although I don’t live in the UK, it’s interesting to look at this because the UK stands out as one of the democracies in which the fear of terrorism is eroding hard-won civil liberties. That broader topic is of importance to us in the canteen, as we try to conceive of what the future will be like.
So, if you are interested, I recommend this video footage from the Joint Committee on Human Rights. UK citizens’ rights as they exist now are based on the European Convention of Human Rights, created in the 1950s, before current issues of privacy existed. The committee discuss all the issues concerning a Bill of Rights, and the current climate in the UK, with witnesses Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Justice Maurice Kay, the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP, Professor Vernon Bogdanor of Oxford University and Henry Porter. It’s 2 hours long, but the discussion is intelligent and informative, and really worth absorbing.
( writers and readers are welcome to post on this topic in relation to other countries)

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.