Magna Carta and the Invention of 'British Rights'

Human Rights in the Media: Fear and Fetish edited by Michelle Farrell, Eleanor Drywood and Edel Hughes, ISBN: 978-1138645813, (Routledge, 2018, Forthcoming)

27 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2018

See all articles by Michelle Farrell

Michelle Farrell

University of Liverpool - School of Law and Social Justice

Edel Hughes

University of Limerick

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

In this chapter we argue that the antipathy towards human rights, and the Human Rights Act in particular, that is evident in certain sections of the media and political establishment, lies partly in its relationship with the European, and, therefore, foreign or ‘alien’, system of human rights protection. Somewhat paradoxically though, those who are most trenchant in their criticisms of the Human Rights Act nevertheless stress that Britain is a nation founded upon human rights. Through the lens of the Magna Carta we examine the invention of the tradition of British rights and how the Charter has been co-opted by those who seek to foment opposition to the Human Rights Act and, albeit to a lesser extent, by those who seek to defend the Act by demarcating a clear line of history between the Charter and the Act. Both approaches, we suggest, serve to crowd out the space required for a rational critique of rights.

Keywords: Magna Carta, British Bill of Rights, Human Rights Act 1998, human rights in the media

Suggested Citation

Farrell, Michelle and Hughes, Edel, Magna Carta and the Invention of 'British Rights' (July 2018). Human Rights in the Media: Fear and Fetish edited by Michelle Farrell, Eleanor Drywood and Edel Hughes, ISBN: 978-1138645813, (Routledge, 2018, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3223419

Michelle Farrell (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool - School of Law and Social Justice ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

Edel Hughes

University of Limerick ( email )

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

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