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Parliaments and Human Rights: Redressing the Democratic Deficit

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In many countries today there is a growing and genuinely-held concern that the institutional arrangements for the protection of human rights suffer from a 'democratic deficit'. Yet at the same time there appears to be a new consensus that human rights require legal protection and that all branches of the state have a shared responsibility for upholding and realising those legally protected rights. This volume of essays tries to understand this paradox by considering how parliaments have sought to discharge their responsibility to protect human rights. Contributors seek to take stock of the extent to which national and sub-national parliaments have developed legislative review for human rights compatibility, and the effect of international initiatives to increase the role of parliaments in relation to human rights. They also consider the relationship between legislative review and judicial review for human rights compatibility, and whether courts could do more to incentivise better democratic deliberation about human rights. Enhancing the role of parliaments in the protection and realisation of human rights emerges as an idea whose time has come, but the volume makes clear that there is a great deal more to do in all parliaments to develop the institutional structures, processes and mechanisms necessary to put human rights at the centre of their function of making law and holding the government to account. The sense of democratic deficit is unlikely to dissipate unless parliaments empower themselves by exercising the considerable powers and responsibilities they already have to interpret and apply human rights law, and courts in turn pay closer attention to that reasoned consideration.

Author: Hunt Murray
Publisher: HART PUBLISHING
Pages: 538
ISBN: 9781509915453
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2017

1. Introduction

Murray Hunt, Hayley Hooper and Paul Yowell
PART I: LEGISLATIVE REVIEW FOR HUMAN RIGHTS COMPATIBILITY
2. Finding and Filling the Democratic Deficit in Human Rights
David Kinley
3. Legislative Rights Review: Addressing the Gap Between Ideals and Constraints
Janet Hiebert
4. The role of Parliaments following judgments of the European Court of Human Rights
Phil Leach and Alice Donald
PART II: LEGISLATIVE HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW IN THE UK PARLIAMENT
5. The Joint Committee on Human Rights
David Feldman
6. The Joint Committee on Human Rights: A Hybrid Breed of Constitutional Watchdog
Aileen Kavanagh
7. How has the Joint Committee on Human Rights affected legislative deliberation?
Paul Yowell
8. Parliament's Role following Declarations of Incompatibility under the Human Rights Act
Jeff King
PART III: LEGISLATIVE HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW IN OTHER PARLIAMENTS
9. Australia's Exclusive Parliamentary Model of Rights Protection
George Williams and Lisa Burton
10. Legislative Review for Human Rights Compatibility: A View from Sweden
Thomas Bull and Iain Cameron
11. Guaranteeing international human rights standards in The Netherlands: the Parliamentary dimension
Martin Kuijer
12. Human rights in the European Parliament
Geoffrey Harris
13. The protection of human rights in the legislative process in Scotland
Bruce Adamson
14. Human rights in the Northern Ireland Assembly
David Russell
15. Human rights in the Welsh Assembly
Ann Sherlock
PART IV: INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES TO INCREASE THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTS IN RELATION TO HUMAN RIGHTS
16. The work of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
Ingeborg Schwarz
17. The work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Andrew Drzemczewski and Julia Lowis
18. The work of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy
George Kunnath and Angela Patrick
PART V: THE IMPLICATIONS OF LEGISLATIVE RIGHTS REVIEW FOR COURTS
19. The Use of Parliamentary Materials by Courts in Proportionality Judgments
Hayley Hooper
20. Democratic Deliberation and Judicial Review
Liora Lazarus
21. The Varied Roles of Courts and Legislatures in Rights Protection
Kent Roach
PART VI: A DEMOCRATIC CULTURE OF JUSTIFICATION
22. What is a Democratic Culture of Justification?
David Dyzenhaus
23. From Dialogue to Deliberation: Human Rights Adjudication and Prisoners' Right to Vote
Sandy Fredman
24. Conclusion: Can Human Rights be Democratised?

Murray Hunt

Murray Hunt is Legal Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights of the United Kingdom Parliament and a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Oxford.

Hayley J Hooper is Fellow in Law at Christ Church, University of Oxford.

Paul Yowell is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Oxford, and the Benn Fellow and Tutor in Law at Oriel College, Oxford.

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