This is a discussion forum which needs 10 posts consisting of 200 words each, which must include 2 references per post.
I will include an example of other peer posts in a document for you to get an idea of what to write.
The post of 200 words must be an initial post, a response to the tutors discussion on the forum primarily (if there is one), secondly start a new thread/topic for students to engage in thirdly a reply to the students initial posts and or thread topics they start and lastly a summary post on the forum itself of which I will attach an example from previous forums as a guide to when writing this summary, in a word document.
I will also add feedback from the tutor for you to see exactly what they are looking from the last discussion forum posts you had made. Please take this into account when writing the posts. Also close each post with a question.
- Follow tutors instructions – answer question –
Explain the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998, to what extent (if any) does this erode Parliamentary Sovereignty?
Tutors guide for forum
The learning outcome for this discussion is:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of the English Legal system, relevant legal institutions and four principal areas of law relevant to the operation of a business
- Your initial posting must respond to the question above in full and be at least 200 words long
- Please try to limit all of your posts to 200-300 words maximum, so that others may be encouraged to reflect on, and respond to your ideas
- Each discussion lasts for two weeks, across 2 consecutive units
- You are expected to contribute a maximum of ten postings during that period, so you should respond to the postings of the other students several times
- You must complete a summary post at the end of the discussion reflecting on your learning
- Respond to all tutors posts first(if there are any).
- Start new topic/thread for student to discuss.
- Respond to any intial posts by students
- Write summary post for forum.
10 posts in total need to be achieved from responding to the tutors posts (if there are any), initial post into the forum, New topic/thread started by myself, students and final summary post.I will also add more and more updates on posts from students and tutor for extra help.
Discussion forum feedback from previous forum:
Your feedback is given below, broken down by the grading criteria:
- You engaged in several themes, used 20 different reference sources to back up your arguments, and demonstrated an understanding of some of the academic issues inherent in the topic. Please note that your initial post was not your first post – please ensure that you address this in future forums. Please also note that your references do not comply with Harvard style as there are no brackets around the dates of publication
- You applied your learning to McDonalds, Tesco, Specsavers, and Wal-Mart
- Your summary posting was a reasonable summary of some key aspects of the impact that internationalisation has had on businesses, although you could have reflected on the contributions of other students more directly
- You made 9 follow up posts and closed 9 of your posts with a question to the rest of the group, but making all of your follow up posts on 2 consecutive days of the forum inevitably impacted your ability to animate, steer and drive the debate
You could improve your grade a little further by making your posts regularly throughout the forum
Discussion forum feedback from previous forum: “You engaged in several areas of debate, used 12 different reference sources to back up your arguments, and demonstrated an understanding of some of the academic issues inherent in the topic You applied your learning to your own situation and SMEs Your summary posting was a good summary of some of the key aspects of strategy and considered the inputs from other students You made 6 follow up posts but closed none of your posts with a question to the rest of the group, and making all of your posts in two batches during the last week of the forum inevitably impacted your ability to animate, steer and drive the debate You could improve your grade by posting regularly throughout the forum, closing most posts with a probing question for the rest of the group, and by applying your learning to more organisations, sectors or scenarios.”
- Write initial post. (1 post)
- Reply to tutor discussion thread (1)
- Write a summary post on the forum (1 post)
- Start a new topic or debate for students to contribute to (1 topic thread)
- Reply to student threads or initial posts (6 more posts)
THIS ABOVE IS AN OVERALL GUIDELINE, THIS SHOULD BE FOLLOWED UNLESS ONE OF THE NUMBERS IS NOT APPLICABLE AT THE TIME THE FORUM REPLIES START. FOR EXAMPLE, IF I HAVE GIVEN THE WORK TO BE COMPLETED AND ONLY STUDENTS HAVE REPLIED BUT THE TUTOR HASN’T THEN THE TUTORS POST REPLY CANNOT BE DONE AT THAT TIME.
Examples of students posts
Initial Post by Richard
‘Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution’ (Parliament.uk, 2017). It proceeds to explain that this gives parliament the ability to be the main ‘legal authority in the UK’ and therefore control all laws. This means that courts cannot challenge it and it forbids the passing of laws that ‘future parliaments cannot change’. Kang-Riou (2012: no page number) defines ‘the Human Rights Act 1998’ as the lead method to argue a case of human rights infringement in ‘the UK legal system’. This has seen many successes since its creation and it has helped many people achieve ‘decisive changes’.
However, the impact of this legislation has been shown in the form of erosion of parliamentary sovereignty. For example, Laird (2014: 16) explained that prior to the act, if people wanted to fight for their human rights through the ‘European Convention’, there was the necessity to take it ‘to the European Court of Human Rights’ which naturally led to time and expense related inconvenience. This changed with the act as it took in the convention ‘into national law’ which has enabled people to fight for their human rights in ‘domestic courts’
In addition to this, the act has outlawed ‘public authorities or their employees’ to behave outside of ‘convention rights’. Importantly, the act has meant that any ‘legislation’ actioned by ‘parliament’ must be in line with ‘the European Convention’. If it fails to do this, a British judge can issue a ‘Declaration of Incompatibility’ which would pressurize parliament to ‘amend or repeal the statute. This could be considered as erosion of ‘Parliamentary Sovereignty’ as a foreign law is stifling their purpose of being the main ‘legal authority in the UK’
Can anyone think of specific cases where the ‘Human Rights Act 1998’eroded Parliamentary Sovereignty and what pressures were faced?
Kang-Riou, N (2012) Confronting the Human Rights Act 1998: Contemporary themes and perspectives.Abingdon: Routledge. Online via Google Books at https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=RdPFBQAAQBAJ&dq=human+rights+act+1998&source=gbs_navlinks_s [accessed 08June 2017]
Laird, S (2014) Practical Social Work Law: Analysing Court Cases and Inquiries. Abingdon: Routledge. Online via Google Books at https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=v4x9AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA16&dq=human+rights+act+1998+erode+parliamentary+sovereignty&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=human%20rights%20act%201998%20erode%20parliamentary%20sovereignty&f=false [accessed 08June 2017]
parliament.uk (2017) Parliamentary sovereignty. Online at https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/sovereignty/ [accessed 08 June 2017]
Reply by David
It is difficult to try and give absolute specifics where any erosion to Parliamentary sovereignty may have occurred that has had any significant effect as the whole of the Human Rights Act has become something of a political football. It was brought into force by the Labour government of the time and has since been a bone of contention with the Conservatives.
Much goes back to the original Convention and how subtle changes seem to be being made to the original intentions which the Conservatives term as ‘mission creep’(BBC 2014).
Perhaps the most public would be the issues concerning prisoner’s rights. Their voting rights according to Parliament have never been a franchise issue in elections and never included in the Convention but Parliament now claims Strasbourg have arbitrarily added to the convention. Also the 2007 Strasbourg ruling that the UK must allow more prisoners the right to artificial insemination with their partners by using Article 8. Again Parliament finds this contentious stating this was not the intention of the Convention when Article 8 was framed.
Section 2 of the HRA states that the UK courts must account for Strasbourg rulings when interpreting the Convention. In applying problematic jurisprudence from Strasbourg to UK law including their proportionality doctrine, Parliament argues it ‘has led judges to question whether provisions of legislation and decisions of public authorities are ‘proportionate’ to their objectives’,’ (BBC 2014) thereby politicising the process of law.
In 2004 Arnheim claimed that ‘human rights law had been hijacked by a number of special interest groups, made up notably of convicted killers, terrorist suspects, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.’, and in 2015 went further to say that rather than blaming the ECHR, ‘evidence shows that it is actually the UK domestic courts which are largely responsible for this.’
Does anyone else think the HRA could be giving rise to politicisation of UK law and that Judges are now speaking out beyond the terms of their appointed remit?
List of references
BBC. (2014). PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE UK. THE CONSERVATIVES’ PROPOSALS FOR CHANGING BRITAIN’S HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS. Online at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/03_10_14_humanrights.pdf [accessed 08 June 2017]
Arnheim M. Dr. (2015). The Problem With Human Rights Law. Is it out of control? Who is responsible? What is the solution? Civitas. Online at: http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/TheProblemwithHumanRightsLaw.pdf [accessed 08 June 2017]
Reply by Anita
The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty is that Parliament can make or unmake any law it wants to as it is the supreme law making body in the UK and no other body can set aside an Act of Parliament.
As stated in other posts, under section 3, the courts are required to interpret and give effect to statutes in a way that is compatible with convention rights so far as it is possible to do so. And where it is impossible to do so, the courts can have recourse to Section 4 of the HRA and issue a declaration of incompatibility.
An example of when the HRA has eroded parliamentary sovereignty can be seen in “cases involving foreign nationals who have committed very serious crimes in the United Kingdom, but who have been able to use the qualified rights in the Convention, as interpreted by the rulings of the ECtHR, to justify remaining in the UK (BBC, 2014). Hence, the reason why Ms may has pledged “to rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation” (The Guardian, 2017) in order to make it easier to deport foreign suspects as she seeks to gain control of her security agenda.
BBC. (2014). Protecting Human Rights in the UK. The Conservatives’ Proposal For Changing Britain’s Human Rights Laws. Online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/03_10_14_humanrights.pdf [accessed 8/06/17]
The Guardian, (2017). May: I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation. Online at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/06/theresa-may-rip-up-human-rights-laws-impede-new-terror-legislation [accessed 7/06/17]
Reply by Anne
Hi David and class,
Thank you for your post, you raise some very interesting points and it intrigued me to research this matter further. Politicisation of UK law has been highlighted quite a few times over the last few years. In 2011 the Guardian reported that “judges are becoming too politicised in their decision-making, encouraged by a European court of human rights which is progressively shrinking national sovereignty, according to the newest appointment to the UK’s Supreme Court”. Boundaries have shifted between political and legal decision making in various areas. Thornhill (2016) argues that “in general terms, most contemporary societies, albeit with important outliers, promote a system of public-legal order, which can be classified as judicial constitutionalism or even transnational judicial constitutionalism”. If judges become too heavily involved in political decisions, political demand on judges will grow and they could eventually lose their independence.
The impact of politicisation of UK laws should not be underestimated. Mann (2011: 9) outlines that “English public law has not developed a coherent or principled basis for distinguishing between those questions which are properly a matter for decision by politicians answerable to Parliament and the electorate, and those which are properly for decision by the courts. It has meant that over a period of time judicial decisions have brought about significant constitutional changes, which were not necessarily noticed or intended by their authors”. I believe some judges are on occasion speaking beyond their terms of remit but most certainly not always on purpose.
Best wishes, Anna
Mann F. (2011) Jonathan Sumption Q.C., ‘Judicial and Political Decision-Making: The Uncertain Boundary’. Online via http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TwKYEteNEGkJ:www.pem.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/1C-Sumption-article.pdf+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk [accessed 09 June 2017]
The Guardian (2011) Supreme Court appointee says role of British judges is too politicised. Online via https://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/nov/08/supreme-court-appointee-judges-politicised [accessed 09 June 2017]
Thornhill, C. (2016) The Mutation of International Law in Contemporary Constitutions: Thinking Sociologically about Political Constitutionalism. Online via the Kaplan Library (EBSCOHOST) http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=7f5f7e69-3dc8-4b20-8584-320afdb7c253%40sessionmgr4008&vid=3&hid=4111 [accessed 09 June 2016]
Reply by Catherine
Hi David and All,
You have all made some very interesting post but Anne have raised some excellent points and I would like to continue with this. Is there a danger of Politicisation within UK law? This is a topic that has faced a lot of scrutiny over the years, most definitely there has been cases where this has happened. You pointed out that in some instances judges are not doing this on purpose when speaking above their remit and many would agree, including myself. Lord Jonathan Sumption QC (Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom) suggest that judges do not set out to substitute their judgment for that of politicians. They instead have trouble respecting the boundaries between Judiciary and other branches of government. They often find bad legal reasons for squashing policies or decisions they dont like.
The Telegraph 2011 reported a case of a high court judge ruled that Sefton Council could not legally freeze the fees it pays private companies to look after old people needing care, it then later ruled that the council could not cut its social care budget for the disabled. While these two cases are emotive and many like myself would not like to see spending cuts in these areas, is with within the courts remit to this? Lord Jonathan Sumption stated in a 2011 lecture that “The tendency of the courts to intervene in the making of ‘macro-policy’ has become more pronounced. The whole process, moreover, is unduly influenced by the degree of judicial aversion to the policy in question. The most problematical area is the broad category of public law decisions about the abuse or potential abuse of statutory powers in cases where administrative discretions are conferred in unqualified terms.” Has the HRA made Judiciary politicisation worse?
Sumption, J. (2011). ‘Judicial and Political Decision-Making: The Uncertain Boundary’. Available at : http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/1C-Sumption-article.pdf [Accessed 11 June 2017].
Telegraph.co.uk. (2011). Britain’s judges continue to defy democracy – Telegraph. [Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8885648/Britains-judges-continue-to-defy-democracy.html. [Accessed 11 June 2017].
The Guardian. 2010. Is the European court of justice a legal or political institution now?|Michelle Everson | Law | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/aug/10/european-court-justice-legal-political. [Accessed 11 June 2017].
Reply again by Richard
Thank you for your question. I looked in newspapers first to see if there was evidence of this. I found that as early as the turn of the century, the threat of the judiciary becoming politicized was being noticed, when Rozenberg (2000) wrote about the imminent change at that time which was ‘the European Convention on Human Rights is incorporated into English law today’. As well as the great convenience for people fighting for their human rights, in that they no longer needed to follow a ‘long, slow and costly road to Strasbourg’, he also warned that there would be an ‘undeniable shift in power from Parliament to the judges’.
More recently, Bowcott (2011) believes that there is evidence of ‘judges becoming too politicized’ when making judgments and that the source of this is the ‘European court of human rights’ which he states is ‘shrinking national sovereignty’ more and more. Reporting the views of a QC named ‘Sumption’, Bowcott explained that areas of particular interest were ‘immigration, penal policy, security and policing, privacy and freedom of expression’.
Watts (2012: 178) indicates that it has now reached a point where there are many regrets about the ‘politicization of the judiciary’. He adds that ‘many politicians and some academics’ have spoken out as a result. He adds that this has led to discomfort when there have been ‘unelected judges stepping so boldly into the arena’. These people also remind us that Parliament is supposed to protect our freedom, adding that ‘it is a sovereign body’ which ‘alone should make decisions’. Also, ‘politicians’ need to consider the voters who support them but judges are unelected and do not have the same concern about the electorate.
Would repealing the HRA improve the situation, what would be the possible repercussions of this?
Bowcott, O (2011) Supreme court appointee says role of British judges is too politicized. Online at https://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/nov/08/supreme-court-appointee-judges-politicised [accessed 10 June 2017]
Rozenberg (2000) Rights Act shifts balance of power to judges. Online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1368505/Rights-Act-shifts-balance-of-power-to-judges.html [accessed 10 June 2017]
Watts, D (2012) British Government and Politics: A Comparative Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University press. Online at Google Books at https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2ZRvAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA178&dq=HRA+politicisation+of+UK+law+Judges&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsm6uAsrPUAhVILpQKHQhPCCIQ6AEIKDAB#v=onepage&q=HRA%20politicisation%20of%20UK%20law%20Judges&f=false [accessed 10 June 2017]
Reply again by David
Hi Catherine and all,
I think the answer to your question is hard to define one way or the other. The viewpoints seem to come thick and fast from both directions be they constitutional parliamentary ones or judicial. Certainly in the posts so far there is plenty of evidence of the judiciary extending their opinion and what they think is right but to my mind they cannot make judgement on what they think is right, it has to be ‘right’ within the law.
One example was in 2014 when the then Home Secretary Theresa May had decided that it was ‘against the public good for Britain to admit an Iranian woman with a terrorist conviction.’ (Moore 2015). In a court case that was brought against the Home Secretary presided over by Lord Kerr a Supreme Court judge he pontificated that the court had the right to not only look at the tenability of May’s argument within the rules but whether or not it was right. His ‘right’ was not legally but in a broad sense. ‘He thought that, because he was a top judge, he now had that power.’(Moore 2015).
Constitutionally no judge has that power and Parliamentary Sovereignty makes it obvious, but this is perhaps an example of where the judiciary is now having a change in mind-set and beginning to think they either should or could have that power.
Judges are meant to be independent and politically neutral (Heywood 2008). Nor are they supposed to be public figures but because the HRA hovers between an ordinary statute and entrenched bill of rights enabling it to be utilised for questioning other laws, the resulting conflict between Parliament and the judiciary has become a public forum.
Would anyone agree that clashes over civil liberties between judges and ministers since the HRA introduction have publicly made the judiciary more political?.
List of references
Heywood A. (2008). Essentials of UK Politics. 3rd Edition. 2015. Ch 9. P 317. Palgrave. Macmillan Publishing. Online at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1ubnCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=how+and+why+have+judges+become+more+politically+significant+in+recent+years&source=bl&ots=dWItzwyNPO&sig=qAMJRTM19Dl5pJEgJLd39kGfRV4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwilyOOevLbUAhVJJVAKHZNIAsw4ChDoAQgzMAI#v=onepage&q=how%20and%20why%20have%20judges%20become%20more%20politically%20significant%20in%20recent%20years&f=false [accessed 11 June 2017]
Moore C. (2015). Our top judges have become too powerful – we need to rein them in. The Telegraph. Online at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11951936/Our-top-judges-have-become-too-powerful-we-need-to-rein-them-in.html [accessed 11 June 2017]
Initial post by Ethan
Apologies for the late first post.
Parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law (parliament.uk, n.d.). Meaning, the courts cannot overrule the legislations (statutes) passed herein, and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliament cannot change.
In order for us to assess the impact of the Human Right Act 1998 (HRA), passed in 2000 to incorporate the main principles and laws of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) into the UK legal system, we must first understand how law is interpreted in the nation.
Since inception, local courts are tasked with reaching ‘just’ decision by adhering to statutes as closely as possible. Even in the event of the ‘mischief rule’ being applied, wherein the concerning law is too ambiguous, they would still need to consider the Parliament’s intent behind the law, among other factors.
The HRA however, have empowered courts. Section 3(1) of the Act requires that, so far as it is possible to do so, all legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights (Macintyre, E., 2014, 1:29), not Parliament law and intent. And this not only restricted to statutory provisions which are ambiguous.
In addition, secondary legislation (delegated) that are not protected by a Parent act, if found incompatible with the HRA can be deemed invalid.
From that standpoint, it is fair to argue that Parliament Sovereignty is affected to a degree, since when it comes to relevant matters, courts may make or prompt the Parliament to make decisions that conflict with their initial intent of statutes passed. Granted this is not to an overpowering extent, since they do still retain the right to remove any laws within the HRA or even retain UK laws that may be in conflict with those of the ECHR, which courts have an obligation to report (Macintyre, E., 2014, 1:29).
The fact that the UK is expected to abide to a set of uniform Human Rights, despite the differing circumstances and beliefs of every nation, is what’s prompted Theresa May recently and even ex primeminister David Cameron, to propose the HRA to be scrapped for a local ‘Bill Of Rights’ (Wright, 2014).
What was thought to be far more detrimental to Parliament sovereignty was European Union law. Would you agree?
Parliament.UK (n.d.) Parliament Sovereignty. Available online at https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/sovereignty/ [accessed on June 10th 2017]
Wright. O (2014) David Cameron to Scrap HRA for Bill Of Rights. Available online at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservative-party-conference-cameron-announces-plans-to-scrap-human-rights-act-9767435.html [accessed on June 10th 2017]
Macintyre, E. (2014) Business Law. Coursework E-Book. [accessed on June 10th 2017]
Initial post by Catherine
The Human rights Act 1998 is an act which incorporates the main provisions of the European Convention on Human rights into UK law, it came into effect October 2000. The Human Rights protects a citizen right to life, the right to respect for private and family life, the right for freedom of religion and belief. This act must be upheld by public authority and if breached it gives you the right to seek redress.
Does this act erode parliamentary sovereignty?
The UK parliament is the supreme legal authority in the UK, they can create or end any law. “Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.”-Parliament.co.uk . Therefore it is quite clear that power lies with parliament to repeal a law or amend it. The human rights act falls under this same process, it is not entrenched and can be repealed by a legislative process in parliament.
The Human Rights Act does not affect Parliament supremacy, officially there are no powers given to courts to strike down legislations in the Act, however it gives the courts 2 measures that they can take. Section 3.1 of the act requires that statutory provisions and common law should be interpreted in a way that is compatible with human rights. There is a key word used within this section it is “so far as it is possible to do so”, the act is an interpretive one, where the rights of an individual may be at risk, the operative word is possible. This means that the courts are required to interpret legislation to upload convention rights unless; the legislation itself is incompatible with the Act and it is not possible to do this.
Section 4 of the HRA deals with the issue of a declaration of incompatibility, when a court cannot interpret a provision that is compatible with the act a declaration of incompatibility is applied. This is often seen as a last resort, as primary legislation is normally interpreted as compatible. Declaration cannot be made by lower courts, but once applied for can lead to changes in a legislation to make it compatible with the act.
What are your views on keeping HRA after Brexit?
Human Rights Act 1998. 2017. Human Rights Act 1998. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/section/2. [Accessed 06 June 2017].
Macintyre, E, 2017. Business Law. 7th ed. London: Pearson.
Response by Alice
Great post, there are two routes for the Human Rights Act after Brexit, either we keep the act or we repeal it. It is important to remember that the future of the Human rights Act is not dependent on Brexit as being a member of the ECHR has nothing to do with whether we are a member of the EU. If we choose to repeal the Human rights Act it could be replaced by a British Bill of Rights. Asthana and Mason (2016) reported that Theresa May said the ECHR can bind the hand of parliament and adds nothing to our prosperity therefore regardless of Brexit the UK should leave the ECHR and the jurisdiction of its court. The process of exiting the EU, set out in Article 50 involves a negotiated exit, England (2017) outlines that the EU could make Britain’s membership of the ECHR a condition of a free trade deal.
Boyle (2016) describes that the exiting of the EU and ECHR could potentially leave the UK with a human rights leave deficit where access to rights and remedies are dimished without proper checks or safeguards. As I said earlier in this post this void could be filled with a bill of rights however it would be of great importance to ensure this covers everything and people are protected.
What do you think about this, should the Human Rights Act be repealed or should we stay as we are?
Asthana.A, Mason.R, (2016), The Guardian, UK must leave European convention on human rights, says Theresa May, online via https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/25/uk-must-leave-european-convention-on-human-rights-theresa-may-eu-referendum [accessed 09 June 2017]
Boyle.K, (2016), Democratic Audit UK, The legitimacy of the EU referendum requires that citizens are informed of the implications of their decision, online via http://www.democraticaudit.com/2016/04/22/the-legitimacy-of-the-eu-referendum-requires-that-citizens-are-informed-of-the-implications-of-their-decision/ [accessed 09 June 2017]
England.C, (2017), Independent, Brexit could prompt human rights crisis, lawyers warn, online via http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-human-rights-crisis-theresa-may-lawyers-article-50-a7592211.html [accessed 09 June 2017]
Response by Esther
It is difficult to comprehend the effects of dissipating the Human Rights Act (HRA) following Brexit as it is unprecedented and hard to predict the long-term ramifications.
My interpretation is that the main argument for leaving HRA behind is that it will allow the United Kingdom (UK) more power when it comes to National Security in the form of having control over the deportation of dangerous foreign criminals, as argued by DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson as quoted on the UK Human Right Blog “has been abused by criminals and terrorists and it has failed to protect the rights of innocent victims adequately” (Beamont, 2017), however it has been suggested by Adam Wagner the writer of said blog (The Week UK, 2017) that cutting ties with European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would not be enough to stop the courts from preventing the removal of foreign criminals.
Whereas both sides of the argument can be eloquently argued if the UK were to repeal the HRA and renounce the ECHR hastily or without proper consideration that the UK would be at a disadvantage in term of Business with other countries or simply relations with other countries, in 2011 Britain threatened to withhold aid to Uganda as it felt that its actions towards gay rights were impeaching Human rights (Glennie, 2011) if the UK were to take a stance that another country or union deemed a breach of Human Rights it could seriously affect any number of things.
If the main issue is with matters of national security would it not be more prudent to get the backing of other countries to petition to change the ECHR’s judgement on the removal of foreign criminals rather than leave altogether? Do you think this could a) work? And b) satisfy those who are campaigning for the UK repealing the HRA?
Beamont, T. (2017). Election Round-Up: Ripping Up the Rulebook on Human Rights?. [online] UK Human Rights Blog. Available at: https://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2017/06/09/election-round-up-ripping-up-the-rulebook-on-human-rights/#more-35134 [Accessed 10 Jun. 2017].
Glennie, J. (2011). Should donors give money to countries with poor human rights? | Jonathan Glennie. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/nov/11/donor-money-tied-to-human-rights [Accessed 10 Jun. 2017].
The Week UK (2017). European Convention of Human Rights: The pros and cons of leaving. [online] The Week UK. Available at: http://www.theweek.co.uk/72028/european-convention-of-human-rights-the-pros-and-cons-of-leaving [Accessed 10 Jun. 2017].
Initial post by Esther
“Human rights set down in law the rule book for governments on how people should be treated and how power should be exercised. Human rights belong to everyone, not matter who they are or what they may or may not have done”(British Institute of Human Rights, 2017). Under the act everyone in the United Kingdom (UK) can defend their rights in UK whilst also ensuring that public organisations, for example the Government or Police, to treat everyone with fairness, dignity and respect and as equals.
“Parliamentary Sovereignty holds that Parliament has the power to enact, or revoke, any new law it pleases and that the courts cannot question the validity of this law. Even Parliament itself cannot limit the power of a successive Parliament”(MacIntyre, 2014)
My interpretation of the initial chapters of our core reading is that the Human Rights Act (HRA) should be interpreted by section rather than in its entirety as to whether it erodes or refines Parliamentary Sovereignty.
Instances as highlighted by MacIntyre about “Kay and others v Lambeth LBC  UKHL 10,  2 AC 465” (MacIntyre, 2014) where decisions to follow precedents made by higher courts that are directly contradicted by a judgement passed by the Court of Human Rights later as it was noted by the House of Lords that conflicting sections of the HRA and European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) could be interpreted to show that precedent should be ignored in this case. This shows that courts still have the power to act according to precedent set before the HRA providing they leave the case open to appeal. In contradiction to this when it comes to making new laws, Parliament could be seen as being very restricted in its decision making by the European Court of Human Right (ECHR).
Has anyone interpreted this differently? I would be interested to hear your views.
British Institute of Human Rights (2017). The Human Rights Act. [online] British Institute of Human Rights. Available at: https://www.bihr.org.uk/thehumanrightsact [Accessed 10 Jun. 2017].
MacIntyre, E. (2014). Business law. 7th ed. Pearson Education Limited, p.8.
Initial post by Kinga
According to Macintyre (2014), the concept of English law has evolved over time from what it used to be. There used to be era of laws which varied within nations and countries but all this has been outlined and embedded into various laws which are now bounding on countries or continents such as the common Europeans laws binding the EU nations as well as UK. Law precede previous laws as judges cite relevant laws that were code when stating cases. Macintyre (2014), stated that code exist in which EU judges used in interpreting laws, however, hierarchy exist within this system, which is to be followed.
English law is based on private or public law, civil or criminal law as well as common or equity law, these form the three classification of English law.
Human right law 1998 introduced in October 2000 was to integrate the “main provision of the European convention on Human Rights into UK law” (Macintyre, 2014) and centred on the unification of these laws within its member states. According to Lord Hoffman in (Macintyre, 2014), there was no mandate in enduring these laws abound within the member states. Lord Hoffman went further to criticize in his lecture that the laws which was been used as a set standard would vary from country to country as well as individual to individual when used in context.
According to Elliot (2016) “Parliament remains sovereign, the EU supremacy principle notwithstanding — is subject to an important caveat: that while, as a matter of domestic law and politics, parliamentary sovereignty can be exercised in spite of the EU supremacy principle, it does not qualify or limit that principle”
While it is argued if and how both are compatible or incompatible (Hoffman, 2009 in Macintyre, 2014), (Elliot, 2016), it has to be stated that as a matter of UK law, parliament is sovereign but on contrary the laws of EU supremacy abounds on UK as a member of EU based on treaty arrangements, this does not mean that the sovereignty of parliament is denied as a “domestic legal principle” (Elliot, 2016)
To conclude, parliament posses the authority to make laws as it pleases but such laws could becomes unlawful if incompatible with EU laws.
With article 50 triggered by the now Prime Minister, Theresa May, signalling the era of leaving the EU, I ask, how will “BREXIT” affect this, positive or negative”?.
Elliot, M. (2016). 1,000 words / If EU law is supreme, can Parliament be sovereign?. Available: https://publiclawforeveryone.com/2016/02/21/1000-words-if-european-union-law-is-supreme-can-parliament-be-sovereign/. Last accessed 9th June, 2017.
Macintyre, E (2014). Business Law. 7th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson. p29-35.
Initial post by Khadija
Parliament has supreme legal authority in the UK with the sole right to put into place and end laws. Parliamentary Sovereignty (PS) therefore is the most important part of the UK Constitution. ‘It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.”(Parliament.co.uk, n.d)
The HRA protects a citizen’s right to life, to respect for private and family life,for freedom of religion and belief. It also requires other bodies such as the police, hospitals, local authorities etc. to protect and respect those rights.
Until The Human rights act (HRA) 1998 came into force in the UK in 2000, there wasn’t a need to question the supremacy of PS. The HRA takes into account other rights namely The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), giving judges new powers which in a way, prolongs the decision making process. However, HRA does not destruct PS.
Prolonging the decision making process, is meant following procedures within the Act. ‘Section 3 states ‘So far as it is possible to do so, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights.’ (legislation.gov.uk, n.d). If this is not possible, the next stage is section 4 which is declaration of incompatibility. Although it is seen as a last resort, it can lead to changes in a legislation to make it compatible with the act. Furthermore, section 2 of the HRA states that national courts must take into account the decisions of the Strasbourg court.
It is these three sections particularly and article 46 of the ECHR (stating that governments must abide by the European Court of Human Rights), that have brought about the perception that the HRA is to some extent, eroding PS.
My question is, what is meant by ‘Take into Account’ (legislation.gov.uk, n.d)? Stated within the HRA. How much power is being given by the UK courts? It is this that must be understood fully before one can determine for sure, the full effect of the HRA on PS.
Why is the UK Constitution partly written? Does this have an effect on the confusion between the HRA and PS? It would be great to hear others’ view on this.
Legislation.gov.uk (n.d) Human Rights Act 1998 Interpretation of legislation. Online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/section/3 [accessed 07 June 2017]
Legislation.gov.uk (n.d) Human Rights Act 1998 Interpretation of Convention Rights. Online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/section/2 [accessed 07 June 2017]
Parliament.co.uk (n.d) Parliamentary Sovereignty. Online at https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/sovereignty/ [accessed 06 June 2017]
Echr.coe.int (n.d) European Convention on Human Rights. Online at http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf [accessed 07 June 2017]
Dicey A.V. (1885). Introduction to the study of the law of the constitution. Online at: http://www.constitution.org/cmt/avd/law_con.htm [accessed 07 June 2017]
MacIntyre. E, (2014), Business Law. Pearson Education Limited. Online at: https://firstname.lastname@example.org:0 [accessed 06 June 2017]
Initial post by Kevin
The incorporation of the “main provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law”(MacIntyre, 2014: 30), through the implementation of the Human Rights Act(HRA) 1998 has received significant attention, particularly with respect to its impact on UK sovereignty.
The convention rights set out in section 1 of the Human Rights Act(1998: 2) and the European Court of Human Rights(ECHR), have according to O’Cinneide(2012: 8) “enhanced protection for individual rights in the UK” and “has not seriously impeded the achievement of the Government’s objectives on crime, terrorism or migration, and has not led to the public being exposed to additional or unnecessary risks”(Department for Constitutional Affairs, 2006: 4).
The impact on policy formulation of the UK Parliament has been limited in comparison with other nations as shown in figure 1, and has had very limited impact on parliament, with only “19”(King as cited in Nakache, 2016) declarations of incompatibility over a 12 year period and fundamentally have “no power to strike down Acts of Parliament under the Human Rights Act, but are required to interpret all laws compatibility with it, if possible”(Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2009: 24).
Even though the ECHR has the ability to rule adversely against the UK, the number of adverse rulings have seen a downward trend, as show in figure 2.
As detailed, the HRA 1998 has had a small impact on the UK, in terms of policy formulation and adverse rulings against the UK. There are however many positives of the HRA and the realisation is that the “UK has voluntarily accepted the conventions of the HRA and the jurisdiction of the Strasbourg Court. While its judgements are binding in international law, Parliament and the UK government can choose under national law not to give effect to the judgements of the court”(O’Cinneide, 2012: 9) and ultimately retain sovereignty.
Do the incompatibilities and adverse rulings justify any sentiment to repeal the Human Rights Act?
Department of Constitutional Affairs (2006) Review of the Implementation of the Human Rights Act. Online at webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.dca.gov.uk/peoples-rights/human-rights/pdf/full_review.pdf [Accessed: 07 May 2017]
Equality and Human Rights Commission (2009) Human Rights Inquiry. Online at www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/hri_report.pdf [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
Human Rights Act (1998). Online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/pdfs/ukpga_19980042_en.pdf [Accessed: 07 May 2017]
O’Cinneide, C (2012) Human rights and the UK constitution. Online at www.britac.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Human%20rights%20and%20the%20UK%20constitution%20WEB.pdf [Accessed: 07 May 2017]
MacIntyre, E (2014) Business Law, 7th Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. Online via the VitalSource Bookshelf [Accessed: 07 May 2017]
Nakache, L (2016) The Human Rights Act 1998: past, present and future. Online at https://constitution-unit.com/2016/05/03/the-human-rights-act-1998-past-present-and-future/ [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
European Court of Human Rights (2015) Annual Report 2015. Online at www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Annual_report_2015_ENG.pdf [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
Klug, F (2003) Judicial Deference Under the Human Rights Act 1998. Online at www.lse.ac.uk/humanRights/aboutUs/articlesAndTranscripts/Judicial_deference_under_HRA1998.pdf [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
Murray, C (2015) Devolution and the Future of the UK’s Human Rights act 1998. Online at https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/nelr/2015/09/18/devolution-and-the-future-of-the-uks-human-rights-act-1998/ [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
London School of Economics (2013) Declarations of Incompatibility under the Human Rights Act 1998. Online at www.lse.ac.uk/humanRights/documents/2013/incompatibilityHRA.pdf [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
Parliament (2015) Declarations of Incompatibility by UK courts. Online at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201415/jtselect/jtrights/130/13006.htm [Accessed: 08 May 2017]
Figure 1: “Number of Statutes Declared Unconstitutional/Incompatible on Rights-based Grounds by all Courts – 2000-2012”(King as cited in Nakache, 2016)
Figure 1: “Number of Statutes Declared Unconstitutional/Incompatible on Rights-based Grounds by all Courts – 2000-2012”(King as cited in Nakache, 2016)
Initial post by David
The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) came into force in the UK in 2000 stating the fundamentals of all rights and freedoms that people in the UK are entitled to. It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law (Equality and Human Rights Commission), therefore allowing its citizens the right to seek justice for a breach of human rights to be heard in a British court instead of the Strasbourg based European Court of Human Rights.
Each human right in the Act is articulated individually as a mirror of the Convention Rights. It also requires all public and other bodies i.e. police, hospitals, local authorities etc. to protect and respect those rights. Effectively this means that Parliament should try to ensure a compatibility between new laws and the Convention and that law courts should seek compatible
Ultimately Parliament has sovereign right and can still pass laws that are incompatible but must declare that incompatibility.
As far as British Parliamentary sovereignty is concerned the HRA does not necessarily undermine its position as ‘This is retained in the domestic sphere, since the Human Rights Act 1998 does not grant the UK Courts the power to strike down primary legislation made by the Westminster Parliament’ (Keen et al 2014). It should be noted that any withdrawal from the Convention system still resides within Parliamentary sovereignty but until such time as that should happen then obligations under the act have to be met. Furthermore ‘The principle of Parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this, namely, that Parliament….has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatsoever;’ (Dicey 1885). Arguably, sovereignty is questionable only when Parliaments obligation to Strasbourg rulings becomes subject to European Law. Eroded no, just more adaptable.
List of references
Dicey A.V. (1885). INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE LAW OF THE CONSTITUTION. Online at: http://www.constitution.org/cmt/avd/law_con.htm [accessed 07 June 2017]
Equality and Human Rights Commission (ND). The Human Rights Act. Online at: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/human-rights-act [accessed 07 June 2017]
Keen R., Horne A. and Miller V. (2014). Parliamentary Sovereignty and the European Convention on Human Rights. Second Reading. the House of Commons Library blog – UK Parliament. Online at: https://secondreading.uk/elections/parliamentary-sovereignty-and-the-european-convention-on-human-rights/ [accessed 07 June 2017]
MacIntyre. E, (2014), Business Law. Pearson Education Limited. Online at: https://email@example.com:0 [accessed 07 June 2017]
Statute Law Society. (2009). ‘The rise of the Strasbourgeoisie: judicial activism and the ECHR.’ ANNUAL LORD RENTON LECTURE 2009. The Rt Hon Lord Justice Elias at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, London. Online at: http://www.statutelawsociety.co.uk/library/ [accessed 07 June 2017]
Initial post by Anne
The Human Rights Act (HRA) can be used by individuals, organisation and companies. In short, the HRA mainly protects (Liberty, n.d.);
- The right to life: protects your life, by law. The State is required to investigate suspicious deaths and deaths in custody.
- The prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment: you should never be tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading way, no matter what the situation.
- Protection against slavery and forced labour: you should not be treated like a slave or subjected to forced labour.
- The right to a fair trial and no punishment without law: you are innocent until proven guilty. If accused of a crime, you have the right to hear the evidence against you in a court of law.
- Free speech and peaceful protest: you have a right to speak freely and join with others peacefully, to express your views.
- No discrimination: everyone’s rights are equal. You should not be treated unfairly – because, for example, of your gender, race, sexuality, religion or age.
Parliamentary sovereignty doesn’t necessarily impact the Human Rights Act as certain legislative processes can revoke the act. McIntyre (2014:29) outlines that “the Minister will revoke or amend the legislation only if he considers that there are compelling reasons for doing either of these things. As the Minister can leave the incompatible legislation in place, Parliamentary sovereignty is preserved”. Under the HRA, and with the establishment of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Parliament has a significant role to play in upholding and promoting fundamental rights and freedoms, however, section 4 of the HRA provides that if a higher court (such as the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court) considers that part of an Act of Parliament is incompatible with human rights, it can make a declaration of incompatibility (Liberty, n.d.). Parliament is the supreme authority in the UK.
Best wishes Anna
Liberty (n.d.) How the human rights act works. Online via https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/human-rights-act/how-human-rights-act-works [accessed 07 June 2017]
MacIntyre. E, (2014), Business Law. Pearson Education Limited. online via https://firstname.lastname@example.org:0 [accessed 07 June 2017]
Initial post by Anita
The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that everyone in the UK is entitled to.
According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (n.d), the Human Rights Act has three main effects;
- It incorporates the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic British law. This means that if your human rights have been breached, you can take your case to a British court rather than having to seek justice from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
It requires all public bodies (like courts, police, local authorities, hospitals and publicly funded schools) and other bodies carrying out public functions to respect and protect your human rights.
3. In practice it means that Parliament will nearly always seek to ensure that new laws are compatible with the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. The courts will also where possible interpret laws in a way which is compatible with Convention rights.
MacIntre (2014:29), states that, the Human Rights Act 1998 which came into effect in October 2000, “incorporates the main provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law”. However, the implementation is not complete as Parliamentary sovereignty is preserved”.
It can be said that this act does not erode parliamentary sovereignty as section 3(1) of the Act states that, “so far as it is possible to do so, all legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights” (MacIntre 2014:29). Do you agree with this?
Equality and Human Rights Commission, (n.d). The Human Rights Act. Online at https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights/human-rights-act [Accessed 6th June 2017]
MacIntyre, E 2014, Business Law, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education (UK). Available from: Bookshelf Online.
Initial post by Alice
Citizens Advice (N.D) explains The Human Rights Act (1998) gives effect to the human rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. They explain that the human rights act allows anyone in the UK to take action in the UK courts if your human rights have been breached. All public authorities must follow the human rights act, a public authority is a private or public organisation who provides public functions. Private organisations that do not hold public functions and individual people can not be held liable under the human rights act.
Parliament UK (N.D) explains that parliamentary sovereignty is a principle of the UK constitution, outlining that Parliament is the supreme law making body within the UK. The Human Rights Act (1998) has no impact on parliamentary sovereignty as there is no official power given to courts to strike down legislation within the Human Rights Act (1998). MacIntyre (2014:29) outlines that under section 3 of the Human Rights act courts are required to interpret and give effect to statutes in a way that is compatible with convention rights so far as it is possible to do so. He goes on to explain that Section 4 of the Human Rights act allows any precedent-making courts (the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) to make a declaration of incompatibility in any legal proceedings in which a court determines whether or not UK legislation is compatible with a Convention right. This is a last resort and is not an alternative to trying to interpret the legislation in such a way that it is compatible with the Convention.
The Human Rights Act has a lot of weight within the UK courts however it does not impact parliamentary sovereignty as it can be repealed by the legislative process in Parliament. Parliament are the supreme law making body in the UK which means they have the ability to unmake any law including the Human Rights Act itself or any legislation that is incompatible.
Does anyone disagree that the Human Rights Act (1998) does not impact the UK’s Parliamentary Sovereignty?
Citizens Advice (N.D), The Human Rights Act (1998), online via https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/civil-rights/human-rights/the-human-rights-act-1998/ [accessed 06 June 2017]
MacIntyre.E, (2014:29), Business Law, Pearson Education Limited, online via https://email@example.com:0 [accessed 06 June 2017]
Parliament UK, (N.D), Parliamentary Sovereignty, online via https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/role/sovereignty/ [accessed 06 June 2017]
Initial post by Sura
Dear James and the rest of the class,
The Human Rights Act is a UK law that was passed in 1998 to allow any person residing in the United Kingdom irrespective of their nationality, age, etc. to defend and exercise their rights in the UK courts as well as ‘compel public organizations (including government, police and local councils) to treat everyone equally with fairness, dignity and respect’ (Liberty-Human-Rights.org, n.d). According to MacIntyre (2014), ‘this Act incorporates the main provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. However, the implementation is not complete as Parliamentary sovereignty is preserved’.
Section 3 of the Act requires that ‘all legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights’ (MacIntyre, 2014). As Parliament is still the supreme power, the Human Rights Act is not destructive to its sovereignty as Parliament can make or break any law. As Wagner (2011) puts it, ‘UK parliament is sovereign, and this means that, unlike in the United States, no court, including the supreme court, can strike down legislation passed by Parliament‘. Section 4 permits any ‘precedent-making courts to make a declaration of incompatibility in any legal proceedings in which a court determined whether or not UK legislation is compatible with a Convention right’ (MacIntyre, 2014). Given the fact that courts cannot undermine or even strike down any Act of Parliament, the Parliamentary Sovereignty remains solid.
In 2013, Theresa May had announced that the Conservative Party would consider withdrawing from the Convention should a successful win take place in 2015. Taking that into account, the Human Rights Act would be repealed. Ramifications fell through where the UK considered withdrawing from the Convention which would ultimately lead to the withdrawal from the Council of Europe and eventually the European Union. MacIntyre (2014) made a valuable statement where he mentions that this would be ‘politically disastrous’, and this is evident with the current turn of events. Considering the fact that the Human Rights Act is not firmly established, it can easily be abolished or annulled by the legislation process in Parliament.This then indicates that the Human Rights Act does ‘not’ erode the Parliamentary Sovereignty.
Liberty-Human-Rights.org (n.d.) The Human Rights Act. Online at: https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/human-rights-act [Accessed 06 June 2017]
MacIntyre, E 2014, Business Law, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education (UK), Essex. Available from: Bookshelf Online.
Wagner, A (2011) Does parliamentary sovereignty still reign supreme? Online at: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/jan/27/supreme-court-parliamentary-sovereignty [Accessed 06 June 2017]
Student thread topic starter by Kevin – Hirst v. United Kingdom
Perhaps one of the most divisive rulings in relation to the Human Rights Act 1998(HRA) that continues to raise questions about UK sovereignty and the integration of the HRA Conventions into English law, is the Hirst v. United Kingdom(UK) case.
“John Hirst, served a sentence of life imprisonment for manslaughter until 25 May 2004, when he was released from prison on licence”(English, n.d.).
Under English law prior to the Hirst v UK case, English law stipulated “A convicted person during the time that he is detained in a penal institution in pursuance of his sentence [or unlawfully at large when he would otherwise be so detained] is legally incapable of voting at any parliamentary or local government election”(Home and White, 2015: 5) under “Section 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 as amended by the Representation of the People Act 1985”(Home and White, 2015: 5).
Hirst sought a declaration that “section 3 was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. On 21 and 22 March 2001 his application was heard before the Divisional Court; but his claim and subsequent appeal were both rejected”(English, n.d.), “ruling that it was a matter for parliament rather than the courts”(Home and White, 2015: 9).
However, after submitting an application with the ECHR, they “ruled that the UK’s ban on prisoners’ voting breached Article 3 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights”(Home and White, 2015: 10).
Despite this ruling, “prisoners serving a custodial sentence do not have the right to vote in any elections under UK law”(Parliament, 2016)
Given the incompatibility of the HRA and English law in the context of prisoner voting rights, and the unwillingness of either the ECHR or UK parliament to instigate changes which would align the HRA conventions and UK law, does this undermine the principle of the HRA conventions integration into UK law?
English, R (n.d.) Hirst v UK. Online at www.1cor.com/1315/?form_1155.replyids=993 [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
Home, A and White, I (2015) Prisoners’ voting rights (2005 to May 2015). Online at https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwidhPfHwrHUAhVMDMAKHd2BBA4QFgg-MAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fresearchbriefings.files.parliament.uk%2Fdocuments%2FSN01764%2FSN01764.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEe0VaUl6C27e2LW7BJe-dv4moD1g&sig2=zlhhGm3tbrsPSjM_Dcy_eA [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
Parliament (2016) Prisoners’ voting rights: developments since May 2015. Online at http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7461 [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
Council of Europe (2005) European Court of Human Rights – Grand Chamber Judgement Hirst v. United Kingdom (NO. 2). Online at https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?p=&id=924847&Site=COE&direct=true [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
European Court of Human Rights (2016) Prisoners’ right to vote. Online at http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/FS_Prisoners_vote_ENG.pdf [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
Hirst, J (2013) Prisoner Voting and the Rule of Law: The Irony of Non-Compliance. Online at http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/prisoner-voting-and-the-rule-of-law-the-irony-of-non-compliance/ [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
London School of Economics (2013) Human Rights Futures Projects. Online at http://www.lse.ac.uk/humanRights/documents/2013/PrisonerVotes.pdf [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
MacIntyre, E (2014) Business Law, 7th Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. Online via the VitalSource Bookshelf [Accessed: 09 May 2017]
Reply by Ethan
Great example, and while the UK has certainly made strides towards incorporating ECHR laws into local legislation (the purpose of the HRA) I would have to agree that moments like such do undermine the legitimacy of the the act. Especially as Parliament Sovereignty still reigns supreme in the region, allowing them to essentially vito or pass legislation that would be considered incompatible with convention rights.
In March 2009 Lord Hoffmann (Macintyre, E., 2014:P29), the second most senior Law Lord, in addition to a series of other criticism’s of the ECHR, stated that even though the ECHR looks to enforce a uniform set of rules for signed up states, they do not enjoy the legitimacy that the Supreme court (in the US) does, in terms of ‘mandate’ but also quality of judges.
He went on to note, that as of 2008, the Court had a backlog of 100,000 applications, which would take them over 4 years to process. Not a very good look for the body as it allows for various cases in breach to go unanswered.
That is not to say the ECHR haven’t encouraged change, like in 2000, when a case regarding the dismissal of UK armed guards due to their sexual orientation, lead to a law being passed to allow gay members to be open about the same; or in 2002 when another case led to men being entitled to a widowers benefit as well.
But whether compliance is the result of enforcement or simply the country looking to stay part of the Council and effectively the European Union is a question worth asking. Now that membership isn’t a concern for the UK, do you think the UK’s departure from ECHR is inevitable and what repercussions do you think they’d face if they do?
Macintyre, E. (2014) Business Law. Pearson London. P 29 [accessed in 2017]
Smith. L (2017) Uk Breaches of Human Rights Law. Available Online at: http://www.abouthumanrights.co.uk/uk-breaches-human-rights-law.html [accessed in 2017]
Student thread starter – Changing the Human Rights Law
Parliament needs to ensure that new laws are compatible with the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. Parliament, however, is sovereign and can pass laws where they see necessary. All public authorities must follow the act in everything they do.
In light of the general election tomorrow I saw something very relevant in the news this morning. The Guardian (2017) reports that “Theresa May has declared she is prepared to rip up human rights laws to impose new restrictions on terror suspects, as she sought to gain control over thesecurity agenda just 36 hours before the polls open”. The Conservatives pledged not to withdraw from the European convention on human rights but could change certain parts of the Human Rights Act after Brexit. Labour’s control orders have been repeatedly rejected by the courts and were eventually scrapped completely when Mrs May was home secretary in 2010.
Changing the Human Rights Law would have significant consequences. Nod (2016:7) mentions that “international human rights conventions can do real good when they act as ultimate safeguards; but when they begin to take over from ordinary democratic decision-making on a whole range of everyday matters, it is inevitable that they will do real harm to democracy itself”.
What do you think the consequences are of making significant changes to the Human Rights Law?
Best wishes, Anna
The Guardian (2017) Theresa May Rip Up Human Rights Laws to Impede New Terror Legislation. Online via https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/06/theresa-may-rip-up-human-rights-laws-impede-new-terror-legislation [accessed 7 June 2017]
Nod, M. (2016) Human Rights and the erosion of politics. Online via the Kaplan Library at http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=3d0bbe64-35a8-4dfb-8a03-acb9d088af2c%40sessionmgr4010&hid=4108&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=f5h&AN=112057846 [accessed 7 June 2017]
Reply by Alice
Thank you for your very current post, I thought the exact same thing when I heard on the news this morning about Theresa May and potential changes to the human rights laws. BBC News (2017) explain that as as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, the UK is permitted under Article 15 to “derogate”, or depart from, parts of the Convention in limited circumstances. Essentially this can only happen in times or emergency and the UK can only take measures to the extent strictly required by the situation. BBC News explains that the UK derogated from Article 5 of the ECHR – the right to liberty and security – during the troubles in Northern Ireland. In 1979, the European Court of Human Rights found the circumstances of Northern Ireland and the use of preventative detention of terrorist suspects without trial met the criteria for derogation.
In order to change human rights derogation would be involved, The National Security Law Brief (2016) explains that after the 2015 terror attacks in France the nation declared a state of emergency in Feb 2016 in order to derogate from both French and international laws that grant certain human rights. This derogation enabled the government to impose house arrests, impose restrictions on the freedom of association and expand the governments search and seizure powers. Would the UK not currently be in a position to do the same after the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London?
The issue with derogation and staying a member of the European Convention of Human Rights is that it is only ever temporary and major changes to the Human Rights Act could mean withdrawing from the ECHR. Do you think the UK should move away from the ECHR and take back full control of Human Rights laws?
BBC News, (2017), Theresa May: Human rights laws could change for terror fight, online via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40181444 [accessed 07 June 2017]
The National Security Law Brief, (2016), Human Rights Derogation In France in Response to Terrorism, online via http://nationalsecuritylawbrief.com/human-rights-derogation-in-france-in-response-to-terrorism/ [accessed 07 June 2017]
Reply by Anita
Thanks Anna and Alice for your posts.
I think that the UK should take back control of some part of Human rights Law especially to deal with cases of terrorism and deportation of anyone involved with terrorism who came from another country.
The reason for this could be seen in the difficulty that Theresa May as then Home Secretary had in trying to depot hate preacher Abu Quatada which has since led to her advocating to leave the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR). According to the Independent (2016), Mrs May ‘would reportedly plan to transfer the rights from the international body into British law, to be applied by the Supreme Court’. However, critics have pointed out that the ‘move…. would weaken the rights of citizens’ but a government official on the other hand as written by the Telegraph (2016), had stated that a ‘clean break [from the ECHR] is by far the best option’ as Ms May fights to take Britain out of the ECHR after Brexit is complete.
The independent, also wrote back in 2016 that ‘Ms May will be looking for a solid mandate from the British public – and a stronger majority in Parliament – to proceed with the controversial process of leaving the ECHR. With the current situation of terror attacks in Manchester and London, Ms May has declared ‘she is prepared to rip up human rights laws to impose new restrictions on terror suspects’, giving longer sentences for those involved in terrorism and to make it easier for authorities to depot foreign terror suspects back to their country of origin. The Guardian, 2017).
She has promised that “if human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change those laws so we can do it.” The Guardian, (2017).
The Guardian, 2017. Theresa May Rip Up Human Rights Laws to Impede New Terror Legislation. Online at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-campaign-leave-european-convention-on-human-rights-2020-general-election-brexit-a7499951.html [accessed 7/06/17]
The Independent, 2016. Theresa May ‘will campaign to leave the European Convention on Human Rights in 2020 election’. Online at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-campaign-leave-european-convention-on-human-rights-2020-general-election-brexit-a7499951.html [accessed 7/06/17]
The Telegraph, (2016) Theresa May to fight 2020 election on plans to take Britain out of European Convention on Human Rights after Brexit is completed. Online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/28/theresa-may-fight-2020-election-plans-take-britain-european/ [accessed 7/06/17]
Reply by Anne
Dear Alice and Anita,
Thank you both for your replies. You both raise valid, interesting points. Alice, in response to your question, yes, the UK could certainly look into moving away from the ECHR, in particular as Brexit negotiations are being prepared, after the general elections. The Daily Express (2017) goes even further by reporting that “according to Lord Faulks, the withdrawal from the ECHR had been Mrs May’s original policy and it was in the Conservative Party manifesto in 2015. But he claims the proposals – to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights – did not see the light of day because of the EU referendum”. Many agree that Brexit provides an excellent opportunity for leaving the ECHR and that Brexit provides Britain with an option to go back to how things were prior to 1998. We definitely need more appropriate legislation to tackle terrorism and derogation sounds challenging and is strictly controlled. Derogation would also only be a temporary solution and the UK would need to be declared a state of emergency first.
I think it’s definitely time to keep our options open, really consider what is best for Britain in the current climate and going forward considering the future. Leaving the ECHR is challenging and brings certain issues and keeping things as they are is challenging and brings issues.
Best wishes, Anna
Daily Express (2017) Britain must leave European Convention on Human Rights SOON or risk problems post-Brexit. Online via http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/797654/General-Election-2017-Theresa-May-European-Convention-Human-Right-post-Brexit-Lord-Faulks [accessed 8 June 2017]
Reply by Sura
Interesting question and quite one on point, especially, taking the current events into consideration.
According to UKandEU.ac.uk, after WWII, european countries came together to codify human rights with the aim of securing peace. The Human Rights Act requires British courts to take into account the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and to interpret domestic legislation in a way that is compatible with the ECHR’ (ukandeu.ac.uk, n.d.)
When mentioning Ms May, one of her main aspects towards the 2020 election campaign, is planning on ‘leaving’ the ECHR. She plans on moving the rights from ‘the international body into British law’ and is to be applied by the Supreme Court. Unlike some encouraging government officials, concerned critics believe that this transfer would in fact weaken the rights of all citizens of the UK. (Worley, 2016)
She believes that being a member of the ECHR has only caused trouble for the UK as well as ‘bind the hands of parliament, adds nothing to our prosperity, makes us less secure by preventing the deportation of dangerous foreign nationals – and does nothing to change the attitudes of governments like Russia’s when it comes to human rights’ (Asthana and Mason, 2016). The shadow Justice Secretary, believes that those comments and beliefs will only damage the standing of the country bearing in mind that the UK is a country that ‘plays by the rules and that is going around the world saying we should comply as a world with human rights’. An opinion in the Guardian.co.uk, which I found interesting and passionate, on the topic of HR and as a response to Ms May mentions that ‘the ECHR doesn’t bind parliament, the HR Act explicitly preserves parliamentary sovereignty as demonstrated by the prisoner voting issue; membership of the convention adds to UK prosperity by contributing significantly to the UK’s and the world’s commitment to the rule of law – a commitment which is a critical factor in making the UK a preferred place for people to do business, and promoting world trade; preventing the deportation of foreign terrorists because of what they may face on their return has not reduced our security’.
I believe Ms May has forgotten the fact that UK was instrumental when drafting the convention, which was spearheaded by Winston Churchill. The UK is one of the very few countries that protects, speaks and promotes human rights, the country stands firm and believes in the rules that include human rights. To leave and turn its back, it will only weaken the voice of the country around the world as well as weaken the protection of UK’s citizens in and abroad. (TheGuardian.co.uk, 2017)
UKandEU.ac.uk (n.d.) What are the consequences for human rights if we change our relationship with the EU? Online at: http://ukandeu.ac.uk/explainers/what-are-the-consequences-for-human-rights-if-we-change-our-relationship-with-the-eu/ [Accessed 09 June 2017]
Worley, W (2016) Theresa May ‘will campaign to leave the European Convention on Human Rights in 2020 election’. Online at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-campaign-leave-european-convention-on-human-rights-2020-general-election-brexit-a7499951.html [Accessed 09 June 2017]
Asthana and Mason, A and R (2016) UK must leave European convention on human rights, says Theresa May. Online at: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/25/uk-must-leave-european-convention-on-human-rights-theresa-may-eu-referendum [Accessed 09 June 2017]
TheGuardian.co.uk (2017) Human rights are under threat – just when we need them most – Charles Falconer. Online at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/03/european-convention-human-rights-threat [Accessed 09 June 2017]
Reply by Catherine
Hi Anne and All,
Sura you raised an interesting point, Britain has been very influential in human rights protection in the past here in the UK and around the world, so leaving this act could change the way the world views the UK.
Of course, there are areas of the human rights act that could be reviewed or can make courts decisions difficult at times, However its quite important to look at how it has shaped our country for the better.
It has been thoroughly implemented in the NHS, “Human rights principles are now fundamental to the NHS in England. The new National Health Service Constitution, published in January 2009, makes both the obligations of the NHS and the rights of healthcare users clear”(Guardian,2009) There has been cases where it has helped to clearly outline the rights of a patient, where it was otherwise a grey area. The Guardian 2009 reported a case where an NHS patient using article 8 (respect for the person) was able to challenge the NHS over his right to be fed normally and not through a tube. The NHS feared feeding him normally could increase his risk of choking. An ethical panel was established, who were able to persuade the NHS that the patient had the right to request this. In this case it gave clear guidance to the NHS what its responsibilities where.
Many are concerned that the human right Act does not help with policing, however it has had a significantly positive impact on Policing, the act covers so many circumstances such as racial profiling, unexplained death in prisons, police stations and psychiatric hospitals. It doesn’t only protect vulnerable people it protects our government and people in the public sector such as police. It gives them a clear mandate to work with.
The Human Rights Act is clearly entrenched in our everyday life whether we recognise this or not, should we start to look more on the successes of that act and amend what is needed to make it better?
The Guardian. 2016. How the act has affected different public sectors | Law | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/humanrightsandwrongs/affect-public-sector. [Accessed 09 June 2017].
The Guardian. 2009. How the act has affected different public sectors | Law | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/humanrightsandwrongs/affect-public-sector. [Accessed 09 June 2017].
Reply by Alice
Hi Catherine and All,
This is a really interesting thread, and I agree with Catherine’s point that we should be looking at the successes and failures of the HRA in order to determine what works and where improvements could be made. The HRA has made a difference to a number of peoples lives and cases for example the protection of family life and the case of Mr and Mrs Driscoll. Mr and Mrs Driscoll were together for 65 years before Mr Driscoll was moved into a care home due to health reasons, however Mrs Driscoll was not allowed to move into the home with him. This was a breach of the couples rights to a family life which is protected by HRA so the case was re-assessed and the couple were reunited (Amnesty, 2014).
Karsten (2016) outline that the HRA has been a success in some ways as it has transformed public decision and law making however its failure has been in the rhetoric. They outline that the failure of the HRA is the governments failure to embrace it as a positive contribution to the protection of liberties and the rule of law. The government has allowed the ECHR and HRA to become a target of generalised hostility to the EU even though it has nothing to do with it.
What are your thoughts on the successes or failures of the Human Rights Act?
Amnesty, (2014), Eight Reasons Why The Human Rights Act Makes The UK a Better Place, online via https://www.amnesty.org.uk/eight-reasons-why-human-rights-act-has-made-uk-better-place-british-bill-of-rights [accessed 11 June 2017]
Karsten.L, (2016), Public Law Today, 15 Years of the Human Rights Act, online via http://www.publiclawtoday.co.uk/healthcare/governance/361-governance-and-risk-features/28329-15-years-of-the-human-rights-act [accessed 11 June 2017]
SO UP ABOVE SO FAR IS FROM THE CURRENT THREAD ON WHICH I HAVE RECEIVED POSTS AND DISCUSSIONS FOR YOU TO REPLY TO.
BELOW ARE NOW EXAMPLES OF PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS FROM A PREVIOUS FORUM. YOU CAN USE THE ABOVE AND REPLY TO: 6 STUDENT POSTS, WRITE 1 INITIAL POST BASED ON THE QUESTION AND USE THEIR INITIAL POSTS FOR HELP/GUIDANCE, START ONE THREAD FOR STUDENTS TO ENGAGE IN BEFORE FINALLY WRITING A SUMMARY TO THE OVERAL FORUM DISCUSSION THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE.
REMEMBER TO END WITH A QUESTION IN THE POST.
Students summary examples for previous forum
1st student example
Dear Ms Walter and Colleagues,
I really enjoyed participating in the discussion forum and gaining a broad and deep insight into the importance and impact of strategic human resource management. I didn’t have a profound insight and knowledge concerning this topic and therefore appreciated researching on the topic and gaining new insights through the interesting posts of my fellow students.
I enjoyed starting the discussion forum with approaching the initial question ‘can SHRM truly add value to a business at a strategic level?’ and focusing on the definition and impact of terms corporate strategy and strategic human resource management. Defining the aspects in depth and analysing corresponding concepts and approaches helped me gaining a clear understanding of the topic and coming to the conclusion that strategic human research development ‘does add value to a business at a strategic level and helps an organisation to achieve superior performance and profitability, by considering ‘how to take employees as a source of human capital and turning this resource into a firm capability that creates competitive advantage’ (Dammertz, 2017). I really appreciated Salima’s reaction on my post and enjoyed her new suggestions on the topic.
I moreover found it very interesting to investigate upon the role of employees as human capital and source of competitive advantage: ’employees as a form of human capital have knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be applied to their work to generate value for the organisation’ (Becker, 1962). It was furthermore very interesting to set control fundamentals, return of investment of an employee and growth in relation with the impact of strategic human resource management, analysing and investigating upon correlations and interactions of the four aspects.
All in all I feel that I have gained a profound insight into the topic and learned crucial aspects of strategic human resource management. I believe that through my profound research and fruitful interaction with my fellow students I have covered important areas of the subject.
I am looking forward to learn more about the SHRM in the following units and to participate the next discussion forum.
2nd summary example
his discussion delved into the essentials of Units 1 & 2 whilst providing comprehensive debate upon the interconnected issues. My key learning outcomes are:
Concept of SHRM
- SHRM is “macro HRM” – linking the management of employees to the wider business and its external environment, achieving strategic fit vertically and horizontally
- As distinguishable from HRM, David (Nightingale, 2017a) notes formal HRM policies don’t provide sustainable competitive advantage, whereas SHRM indirectly adds business value – however this damages measurability
- Universalist approach assumes a set of superior/best HRM practices, context- irrespective. Globalisation facilitates this approach
- Contingency theory is informed by organisational context
- Paula (Marques Mendes, 2017) and Dwayne (Desouza, 2017) note the configurational approach balances these approaches
SHRM’s contribution to organisational objectives
- For SHRM to add value, HR professionals must understand their business (financial models, competitors etc) and become solution not procedure orientated
- CIPD profession map suggests the trait ‘curiosity’ helps HR contribute strategic value
- Roy (Andraos, 2017) notes curiosity a key part of Google’s success
- Likewise, David (Nightingale, 2017b) suggests “deviant innovators” who stand apart from company norms can innovate and add value: however, companies with Universalist approaches negate this. As someone relating to the deviant mindset, I can bear this in mind regarding future employers.
Future of SHRM
- Khan and Mushtaq (2015) and David (Nightingale, 2017c) argue administrative HR is declining
- Dwayne counters that traditional HR will flourish in tandem with SHRM
- However Yoki (Yagi, 2017) evidences a Japanese insurance firm automating traditional HR and improving ROI – this trend is encouraging for budget-constrained SME’s, where administrative task backlogs prevent SHRM development
This forum encouraged me to better engage with my own companies HR. I understand the value of a new automation app and how this frees HR to add more value to the company. As a marketer, I am encouraged by my understanding of the importance of SHRM to suggest ideas to HR that better align their work with internal and external marketing – particularly regarding collaboration on employment drives.
Andraos, R (2017) Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. CIPD Profession Map. [Online]. Available at: http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/discuss.php?d=93269 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
Desouza, D (2017) Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. SHRM Approaches [Online] Available at: http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/search.php?search=configurational&id=2376 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
Khan, M, & Mushtaq, U 2015, ‘Evolution of Strategic Role of Organization’s Human Resource Management: An Overview’, Journal Of Business & Economics, 7, 2, pp. 192-213
Marques Mendes, P (2017) Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. Initial Post. [Online] http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/discuss.php?d=92752 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
Nightingale, D., (2017a). Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. Initial Post – SHRM and Competitive Advantage [Online] Available at: http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/discuss.php?d=92758 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
Nightingale, D., (2017b). Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. ”Deviant Innovation” in the contemporary workplace Online] Available at: http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/discuss.php?d=93759 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
Nightingale, D., (2017c). Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. Summary Post [Online] Available at: http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/discuss.php?d=94361 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
Yagi, Y (2017) Unit 1 & 2 Discussion Forum. Future of SHRM. [Online] Available at: http://www.my-course.co.uk/mod/hsuforum/discuss.php?d=93779 [Accessed 30 January 2017].
3rd summary example
The past two weeks have been very informative and many interesting topics have been discussed. Although I haven’t been able to participate as wanted due to personal reasons I have read all the posts with great interest.
This forum focused on whether SHRM can bring value to a business at strategic level and how it can deliver competitive advantage. For a business to have competitive advantage HR needs to be a part of continuous transformation by creating processes and a culture in line with the overall strategy of the business. The class seemed to agree on that SHRM can add valued and deliver competitive advantage as long as this all together is implemented in a right way.
Before this forum I never thought of how many task within the HR function can be automated, however given the rapid change in technology automation is becoming more popular. By automating administrative function within HR allows HR professionals to consentrate and work more effectively on other functions, which eventually will add more value to the overall strategy.
Many organisations choose to outsource some of its HR functions as well. We discussed the benefits and risks that come with outsourcing and how it can add value and bring competitive advantage.
I found it interesting to see how, in many larger organisations the top management looks at the HR function in a negative way and therefore makes it difficult to include it as part of the overall strategy.
The CIPD Profession Map was another interesting thread with some of my classmates bringing up real examples, which is always interesting to learn from. The curious behaviour was discussed in depth and how important it is for HR managers to be well informed not only about the organisation but also be aware of the external environment to be able to add value.
I want to thank everybody for a great contribution, which have allowed me to gain a great knowledge and better understand how SHRM can add value and bring competitive advantage to the organisation.
Looking forward to the next units.
4th summary example
The first key point that I gained from the discussion forum is a better understanding of strategic HRM and, more specifically, the strategic role and place of the HR function in an organisation. Our tutor, classmates and I had the opportunity to explore and discuss the RBV, the Universalist/Contingency approaches to SHRM as well as many other related questions. For instance, Paula, Luke and I discussed the importance of an organisation’s code of ethics and its impact on the organisational culture (Brenkert & Beauchamp, 2010). Therefore, this first discussion forum developed my understanding of SHRM in an interactive and constructive way and gave me the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained so far in units 1 and 2.
Moreover, the discussion forum pushed me to develop my critical thinking and assess the different HR challenges/questions in today’s business environment. For instance, Lucie, Verillah and I critically analysed the different arguments pro and against the outsourcing of the HR function under the guidance of our tutor and assessed the impact from the perspective of business strategy. As a result of these discussions, I started paying more attention to my place/role in this business environment and exploring how I can best use or optimise the use of my skills in this context (e.g. in terms of freelancing or being employed). Therefore, the discussion forum also pushed me to improve my skills at different levels.
Furthermore, the discussion forum improved my written communication skills as well as my ability to structure my reasoning with credible and coherent arguments. For instance, Salima, Paula and I linked SHRM to different business indicators (e.g. business performance, employee turnover) and examined the causal relation that can sometimes exist between these – e.g. how can rigid HR practices impact on employee turnover (Saridakis & Cooper, 2016). As a result of these discussions, my approach to analysis became more proactive, better structured and open.
Brenkert, G. G. & Beauchamp, T. L. (2010) The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Saridakis, G. & Cooper, C. (2016) Research Handbook on Employee Turnover. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
5th summary example
- The discussion started from discussing how contribution of HR function to the overall business outcomes have been undervalued, considered as only limited to the administrative aspects that has no relation to innovative strategy or economic value creation. Another foundational points to this discussion was that securing competitive advantage through human resources are the core of Strategic HRM, and that strategic alignment of HRM and the overall business can deliver such outcome. The ways to achieve strategic alignment and stakeholder interests, both as essential for SHRM, were discussed by theories such as Contingency approach which considers the organisational size and life cycle in comparison to the Universalist approach which assumes that there is the best approach for any organisation. Bureaucratic, Market and Clan models were explored as approaches to the complex demands for SHRM considering the life cycle of the business and the appropriate areas to be focused. (Truss et al.,2012) As discussion progressed, discussion on talent management was elaborated on, with the main argument being that strategic and economically valuable jobs and talents must be differentiated in the management such as compensation and development opportunities, and that administrative areas are shifting to be replaced by digital management system. (Mundy, 2012: McCurry,2017)
- The contents of the discussion forum was highly applicable to any workplace, and it allowed me to gain new perspective of the HR function of my own company. The above learning points allowed me to see what could be improved at the company, and how valuable such change is to the business. By gaining such insight, I am encouraged to suggest reviews to my CEO, most likely suggesting the IT system implementation. The learning would also be useful when negotiating compensation as the justification can be supported by understanding the importance of human resource.
McCurry J (2017) Japanese company replaces office workers with artificial intelligence. The Guardian. Online at : https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/05/japanese-company-replaces-office-workers-artificial-intelligence-ai-fukoku-mutual-life-insurance [Accessed on 30th January 2017]
Mundy J (2012) Why HR Still Isn’t a Strategic Partner. Harvard Business Review. Online at : https://hbr.org/2012/07/why-hr-still-isnt-a-strategic-partner [Accessed on 30th January 2017]
Truss, C., Mankin, D. and Kelliher, C. (2012) Strategic Human Resource Management. New York: Oxford University Press.
6th summary example
Initially in this forum we looked at whether SHRM practices can truly add value to a firm and whether efficient SHRM practices can form a competitive advantage for an organisation. The general consensus among the class seemed to be that SHRM can indeed add value and provide a competitive advantage as long as it is allowed to innovate, included in strategic decisions and recognised by other senior organisational figures to be a business partners as opposed to an administrative function.
As the discussion moved on, we examined other areas relevant to the competitive advantage that SHRM practices can add. Luke’s thread considering the future direction of HR professionals raised interesting points regarding the potential automation of administrative tasks and how HR professionals can remain relevant in the business world, and Lucie mentioned some thought provoking points regarding the links between SHRM and quality.
To summarise, my main learning points from this forum were:
- SHRM can indeed add value to an organisation, but HR Managers / Directors must be allowed to have input at the strategic level in order to achieve this;
- Some employees and executives have a negative view of the HR function, considering them mere administrators rather than business partners and HR professionals must endeavour to rectify this misapprehension;
- As technology advances, more tasks traditionally undertaken by HR functions may be automated, and this may in turn cause drastic changes in the roles of HR professionals;
- Links between HR staff and conditions and employees on the front line need to be improved in some industries.
Moving forward as a result of this discussion when encountering new HR policies, training regimes, recruitment schemes etc. within an organisation I will consider how this policy may fit into a holistic SHRM strategy before venturing an opinion.
Thank you for all your input,
Tutor feedback from previous forums
Thanks for the 10 posts you made in the discussion.
Postings & Understanding: Your initial post was clear, within the word count and addressed the discussion question. You introduced the concept of SHRM, explaining very clearly how it can lead to competitive advantage, and can improve this further by making links to underpinning theory. Your subsequent posts have demonstrated a good understanding of the topic, exploring some of the key concepts associated with SHRM, using a range of theories, and you can further improve this by making links with practical examples, to show even more understanding. You can also focus on the presentation of your posts, by using shorter paragraphs.
Application: You have used wider reading in your posts, enabling you to provide relevant support for your key points, and explore the topic from a critical perspective – using this in conjunction with practical examples from your own experience, or your research, will help you to link theory with practice more thoroughly. It was great to see so many academic sources. Referencing is in good Harvard style, and one small note that if you accessed any of the books / journals online, you’ll need to provide the web address in the full reference.
Summary Post: Your summary post provides a good overview of the content covered within the discussion, clearly identifying your learning and how your understanding of the topic has improved. You have started to consider how this learning could be applied in the workplace, and you can explore this aspect in a little more depth.
Animation: You engaged with the discussion over 3 days, visiting different threads to comment and sharing your views, so do continue with this good approach. Spreading your posts over more days will help to improve grades here. You’ve shown good netiquette through the professional tone of your posts, and by using students’ names to begin your replies and you can further improve by signing off with your own name. You have asked meaningful questions within your posts, showing good animation, and you could also try starting a relevant new discussion thread.