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Britain's proposed new equality and human rights commission

Speaker: Professor Francesca Klug, Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Chair: Professor Conor Gearty, Centre for the Study of Human Rights
February 2005

Abstract

The Government has announced plans for a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) for Britain. Although there are nearly 100 internationally-recognised national human rights institutions worldwide, this will be the first British human rights commission aimed at providing institutional support for the 1998 Human Rights Act.

The legislation to establish for this body was announced in the Queen's Speech. The Centre's professorial research fellow, Francesca Klug, was appointed to sit on the government's Task Force, which advised the government on the powers, duties and functions of the proposed commission. She was subsequently appointed to the CEHR Steering Group, the successor body to the Task Force, and is currently working as a consultant to the Women and Equality Unit, based at the Department of Trade and Industry, where she has advised ministers and officials on aspects of the legislation and other 'stakeholder' issues.

In this lunchtime seminar, Professor Klug discusses the legal and political factors that drove the government's decision to establish this Commission, its likely effects on compliance with equality and human rights laws, and the place of commissions more generally in the evolving human rights discourse.

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