UCL Institute for Human Rights


Britain and the European Convention on Human Rights

23 March 2015, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Event Information

Open to



UCL Faculty of Laws and the UCL Institute for Human Rights.


UCL Gustave Tuck LT

Should we think of the ECHR as undermining decisions of democratically elected governments or as placing the sorts of limitations on governments required to protect human rights? 



The event will be introduced by Dr Virginia Mantouvalou, co-director of the UCL Institute for Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights has come under attack in recent years. Critics suggest that the Court has gone too far in the interpretation of human rights, in a way that shows disrespect for decisions of democratically elected governments. The Court has also been criticised for micromanaging situations that should be left to national authorities to decide.

Proponents of the European human rights system, on the other hand, argue that the Convention is a living instrument, and that the Court is correctly placing limitations to what a democratically elected government can do, and that the fact that the Court is not democratically accountable is a strength in the area of human rights protection.

In this seminar, we will address both aspects of the debate and assess the arguments advanced. We will also consider the question whether the UK needs its own British Bill of Rights.

This event, co-organised with the UCL European Institute, is part of a 2-year series on Britain & Europe in the course of which the UCL European Institute will host seven policy panels in London and Brussels, produce fact sheets and an online resource area, and run a dedicated blog.

The event was followed by a reception in the South Cloisters.

The  event was recorded and the video can be viewed on the website of the UCL European Institute: ECHR recording.