The Bonfire of the Liberties: New Labour, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law

Overview

This provocative book confronts the corrosion of civil liberties under successive New Labour governments since 1997. It argues that the last decade has seen a wholesale failure of constitutional principle and exposed the futility of depending on legal rights to restrict the power of executive government. It considers the steps necessary to prevent the continued decline of political standards, arguing that only through rebalancing political power can civil liberties be adequately...

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Overview

This provocative book confronts the corrosion of civil liberties under successive New Labour governments since 1997. It argues that the last decade has seen a wholesale failure of constitutional principle and exposed the futility of depending on legal rights to restrict the power of executive government. It considers the steps necessary to prevent the continued decline of political standards, arguing that only through rebalancing political power can civil liberties be adequately protected.

Relying on extensive new research of inaccessible sources, the book examines the major battlegrounds over civil liberties under New Labour, including the growth and abuse of police power, State surveillance, and counter-terrorist measures. It unfolds a compelling narrative of the major battles fought before Parliament and in the courts, and attacks the failure of the political and legal systems to offer protection to those suffering abuses of their civil liberties at the hands of an aggressive Executive. In doing so, it offers a definitive account of the struggle for civil liberties in modern Britain, and a controversial argument for the reforms necessary to contain executive power.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199584789
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/6/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Ewing is Professor of Public Law at King's College London, and is one of the country's leading civil liberties lawyers. He is the author of Freedom under Thatcher: Civil Liberties in Modern Britain (with Conor Gearty) and his other books include The Right to Strike and The Struggle for Civil Liberties (also with Conor Gearty).

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Table of Cases xiii

Table of Statutes xix

Statutory Instruments, Rules, and Orders xxii

1 Introduction 1

2 The Growth of Police Powers 17

3 Surveillance and the Right to Privacy 53

4 Freedom of Assembly and the Right of Public Protest 96

5 Free Speech and the National Security State 138

6 A Permanent Emergency and the Eclipse of Human Rights Law 180

7 From Detention-to Control Orders-to Rendition 223

8 Conclusion: Power not Rights 265

Bibliography 287

Index 295

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