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Human Rights: Changing the Culture

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The Human Rights Act 1998 is likely to come into force early year next year. It unquestionably has the potential for being one of the most fundamental constitutional enactments since the Bill of Rights over 300 years ago. While so much constitutional change in the United Kingdom has been achieved without resort to legislation, this is a deliberate part of a programme of constitutional change by legislation. The legislation has to be seen in the context of the government’s wider programme of constitutional reform: the reform of the House of Lords, the promised Freedom of Information Act, devolution to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and elected mayors. Any evaluation of a change in the way in which the constitution is perceived and imagined in the United Kingdom cannot ignore the interrelationship of these reforms. The scope of this collection of essays is, however, narrower. It is to consider what changes have brought about this particular constitutional reform and its potential for creating a ‘human rights culture’.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cardiff Law School, Cardiff, Wales

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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