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Human Rights Comment

Why remembering the Holocaust is a human rights imperative

18/10/2016 Strasbourg
The Shoah stands out as one of the defining moments of history that has shaped the conscience of mankind. It is unique in its roots, implementation and envisioned totality. During my mandate as Commissioner for Human Rights, I have attended a number of ceremonies of commemoration of the victims of the Shoah, not only in Strasbourg, but also in Albania and Greece , to highlight that it is our...
Visit Memorandum

Commissioner publishes Memorandum on surveillance in the UK

17/05/2016 Strasbourg
The Commissioner has published a Memorandum on surveillance and oversight mechanisms in the UK today. In the Memorandum he commends the UK government for its attempt to overhaul the investigatory powers framework by providing a world-leading Investigatory Powers Bill, which is currently the subject of thorough parliamentary scrutiny. This type of parliamentary scrutiny provides a welcome...
Visit memorandum

Commissioner publishes Memorandum on asylum and immigration in the UK

22/03/2016 Strasbourg
Today the Commissioner published a Memorandum addressed to the UK Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, in which he commends the UK’s efforts in providing resettlement to Syrian refugees. He also expresses a number of concerns regarding a trend of restrictive immigration policy and law which adversely affects the human rights of refugees and immigrants. The Memorandum  also highlights the...

Reforms to UK Human Rights Laws Must Not Weaken Protection

Huffington Post, 03/02/2016 The future of human rights protection in the United Kingdom is on the verge of change as the government prepares its consultation to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights. The consultation stage represents a critical step whose result I hope will dispel fears of regression in the UK's commitment to human rights. During a recent visit to the UK, I had the...
Visit to United Kingdom

UK: Forthcoming reforms to human rights law must not weaken protection

22/01/2016 London
“The repeatedly delayed launch of the consultation process for repeal of the Human Rights Act has created much speculation and an atmosphere of anxiety and concern in civil society and in some parts of the devolved administrations. There is a real fear of regression in terms of rights’ protection in the United Kingdom” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights,...

Commissioner warns the UK about the consequences of non-compliance with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

[Strasbourg, 17/10/2013 17:00] – In a Memorandum published today, the Commissioner underscores the obligation for member States to execute judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and the importance that such compliance has for the European system of human rights protection. He also warns about the possible negative consequences for the UK's interests, international reputation and...

Improving human rights protection at national level

Brighton, 19/04/2012 – In a speech given today at the High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights, in Brighton (United Kingdom), Commissioner Muižnieks affirmed that he intends to contribute to a better protection of human rights at national level by supporting the implementation of the European Convention standards by member states. "The Convention system is...

“The United Kingdom juvenile justice system should focus more on rehabilitation”

Strasbourg, 15/03/2012 – "Despite some progress, the system of juvenile justice in the United Kingdom remains excessively punitive. The state's response to juvenile crime should focus more on rehabilitation" stated Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in releasing a letter addressed to the UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke. "The...

Letter to the UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Letter from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights the to the UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke, about the system of juvenile justice in the United Kingdom CommDH(2012)17 / 15 March 2012 Reply by the UK Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, to the Commissioner's letter about the system of juvenile justice in the United Kingdom...

The United Kingdom should ensure adequate housing for Gypsies and Travellers*

Strasbourg, 01/03/2012 – "The rights of Gypsies and Travellers to adequate housing are undermined throughout the United Kingdom. The authorities must uphold this right, which is a pre-condition for the enjoyment of other human rights, including the rights to education and health" stated Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a letter addressed to...
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