Our pick of human rights news stories from the past week.

News From BIHR

The Other Supreme Court Case: Deprivation of Liberty of 16 and 17 year olds

The Supreme Court was all over the news last week after they ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful. Two days later the judges were back in court to deliver another important Judgement. In the long anticipated judgement, of D (A Child), Supreme Court ruled that parents cannot consent to living arrangements for a 16 or 17-year-old child which would otherwise amount to a deprivation of liberty.

The Need for Human Rights in Commissioning

A look at why and how Human Rights must be the framework for commissioning. Many recognised our key concern: that human rights is too often only discussed when addressing failures in services, but commissioning from a perspective is all about preventing poor outcomes and focussing on the person.


News from Elsewhere

Scotland becomes first country in UK to ban smacking of children

Scotland has become the first country in the UK to ban outright the physical punishment of children, making it a criminal offence for parents to smack their offspring.

The member’s bill, which was lodged by the Scottish Green party MSP John Finnie and supported by the Scottish National party government, was passed overwhelmingly on Thursday evening, with 84 MSPs voting in favour and 29 against. It is designed to give children equal protection from violence by removing the defence of “justifiable assault” in Scots law.
The Guardian


Northern Ireland's abortion law breaches UK's human rights commitments, court rules

Northern Ireland's strict abortion law breaches the UK's human rights commitments, the High Court in Belfast has ruled. The judge followed the ruling of the Supreme Court that abortion law in Northern Ireland was incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Sky News


Homeless deaths see biggest increase on record as two die every day in England and Wales

Deaths of homeless people have seen a record annual increase in England and Wales. A total of 726 people died in England and Wales in 2018 - an average of two every day.

The Independent 


Home Office failing to erase gay men's unfair convictions, critics say

A Home Office scheme designed to wipe historical convictions for consensual gay sex from people’s records is failing to right past wrongs, critics have said, as it was revealed that fewer than 200 crimes have been deleted since it was introduced seven years ago.

The convictions have left many men feeling stigmatised and unable to get jobs that require a criminal record check, including work with children or vulnerable people. Even spent convictions for most sex offences show up in the checks system, known as the disclosure and barring service (DBS).

The Guardian


Home Office faces court challenge over allowing asylum seekers to be interrogated by countries from which they are trying to flee

The Home Office is to be challenged in court over its practice of inviting foreign government representatives to interview political asylum seekers after The Independent exposed the “corrupt” exercise.

It emerged last December that people who had fled political persecution in Zimbabwe and claimed asylum in the UK were ordered by the Home Office to attend meetings where they were asked “distressing” questions by Zimbabwean officials.

The Independent