Professor Francesca Klug

Professor Francesca Klug

Visiting Professor

LSE Human Rights

About me

Professor Francesca Klug OBE is a Visiting Professor at LSE Human Rights.

From 2001-15 Francesca was a Professorial Research Fellow at the LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CsHR) where she was also Director of the Human Rights Futures Project ( now housed at the British Institute of Human Rights). She was formerly a member of the Advisory Boards of both the CsHR and of the  LSE's Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and is now a member of the  Advisory Committee of the Department of Law and Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University.  

Prior to transferring to LSE Francesca was a Senior Research Fellow at King's College Law School where she assisted the government in devising the model for incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, reflected in the Human Rights Act (HRA). She was a member of the Government's Task Force responsible for overseeing implementation of the HRA.

Francesca is an Academic Expert at Doughty Street Chambers and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Political Quarterly. She is an Advisory Board member of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and of the human rights NGO, Renee Cassin. She was previously a Commissioner on the independent Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, reporting at the end of 2015, and was formerly Chair of the charities Freedom from Torture and the British Institute of Human Rights.

From 2006-09 Francesca was a Commissioner on the statutory Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) where she was the Lead Commissioner on the EHRC’s Human Rights Inquiry published in 2009. She was formerly a member of the EHRC Steering Group and Task Force which advised on the establishment of the Commission and worked as an independent academic advisor to ministers and officials on the Equality Act 2006. She was also a Specialist Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, carrying out a published review of their working practices in 2006. Between 2007-9 Francesca was a member of the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Reference Group at the Ministry of Justice. 

Francesca  was awarded an OBE for services to human rights in 2002 and was the joint winner of the Times/Justice award for an outstanding contribution to civil justice in 1998. She won the Bernard Crick prize for the best article published by Political Quarterly in 2009, which was presented at the annual George Orwell Prize event in May 2010.

Throughout her career Francesca has written and lectured widely on human rights. Values for a Godless Age: the story of the UK’s New Bill of Rights was published by Penguin in 2000. She co-edited a special issue of the European Human Rights Law Review with Jane Gordon, published in December 2010, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Human Rights Act. Francesca's column for The Guardian's Comment is Free, 'Blogging the Bill of Rights', was published as a booklet by Liberty in June 2010. Her most recent book, A Magna Carta for all Humanity, homing in on human rights was published  by Routledge in  2015 to coincide with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. She has written regularly for legal and political journals and the national press and was a frequent broadcaster.


Publications on the Human Rights Act

A Magna Carta for Humanity, homing in on Human Rights, Routledge, 2015.

Klug Francesca and Amy Williams, “The UK’s 1998 Human Rights Act: clarity and confusion,” Collective essays, Blackstone, 2014.

Klug Francesca and Amy Williams, “The Choice Before Us? The report of the Commission on a Bill of Rights,” Public Law, July 2013.

'The Human Rights Act: origins and intentions', in Confronting the Human Rights Act: contemporary themes and perspectives, Jo Milner et al (eds), Routledge (2012).

Co-editor (with Jane Gordon) of Special Issue of the European Human Rights Law Review: 10th Anniversary of the Human Rights Act, European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 6, December 2010  , Issue 6, December 2010 

'Follow or lead? The Human Rights Act and the European Court of Human Rights' (with Helen Wildbore). European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 6, December 2010 

'The Human Rights Act 10 Years On: Origins, Impact and Destination', Scottish Human Rights Journal, Issue 51, November 2010

"Protecting rights", in The Convention on Modern Liberty: The British Debate on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, published by Imprint Academic, March 2010.

Common Sense: Reflections on the Human Rights Act booklet on the Human Rights Act edited and co-authored by Professor Klug, bringing together the first 10 articles of her Blogging the Bill of Rights series  for the Guardian, published by Liberty, June 2010.

'Protecting rights: how do we stop rights and freedoms being a political football?' by Francesca Klug and Helen Wildbore, published by Unlock Democracy, March 2009

"The Long Road to Human Rights Compliance", Northern Ireland Law Quarterly, Special Issue on Human Rights and Equality, Spring 2006.

"The promotion of human rights", in Human Rights and Peace-Building in Northern Ireland: an international anthology, CAJ, 2006.

"Standing back from the Human Rights Act: How effective is it five years on?", with Keir Starmer, Public Law, Winter 2005.

"Human Rights: above politics or a creature of politics?" Policy and Politics, January 2005.

"Judicial Deference under the Human Rights Act", European Human Rights Law Review, 2003.

"The Human Rights Act: the first two years", with Claire O'Brien, Public Law, Winter 2002.

"The Human Rights Act: a 'third way' or 'third wave' bill of rights?" European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 4, 2001.

"Incorporation through the front door, an evaluation of the Human Rights Act in the courts", with Keir Starmer, Public Law, Summer 2001.

"The Human Rights Act: basic principles and values", Journal of Local Government Law, Vol 4, Issue 2, 2001.

Human Rights Digest, (consultant editor) with K. Starmer and I. Byrne, Blackstone's, 2001.

Values for a Godless Age, the story of the UK's new bill of rights, Penguin, 2000.

"The Human Rights Act: a general overview", in Human Rights for the New Millennium, edited by Frances Butler, Kluwer, 2000.

"The Human Rights Act 1998, Pepper v Hart and all that", Public Law, Summer 1999.

"Human Rights as a Set of Secular Ethics, or Where does the Responsibilities Bit Fit In?" Patterns of Prejudice, Vol 33, no 3, 1999.

Publications on bills of rights

'Replacing the Human Rights Act with a weaker British Bill of Rights would send a sign to the international community that we are no longer serious about human rights', with Helen Wildbore, British Politics and Policy at LSE blog, December 2010

'Human values, not tabloid values', OpenDemocracy, March 2010

Blogging the Bill of Rights series  for the Guardian, subsequently published by Liberty(see above), June 2010.

'Solidity or Wind? What's on the Menu in the Bill of Rights Debate?', (2009) 80(3)
The Political Quarterly 420-426 420-426

'A Bill of Rights: Do we need one or do we already have one?', Public Law, Winter 2007

'A Bill of Rights – what for?' in Towards a New Constitutional Settlement, edited by Chris Bryant MP, The Smith Institute, 2007

"A Bill of Rights for the UK: a comparative summary", European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 5, 1997. 

"Can Human Rights Fill Britain's Morality Gap?" Political Quarterly, Vol 68, no 2, 1997

"Incorporation through the back door?", with Keir Starmer, Public Law, Summer 1997.

The Three Pillars of Liberty: political rights and freedoms in the UK, with Keir Starmer and Stuart Weir, Routledge, 1996.

Foreword, A British Bill of Rights, IPPR, 1996.

"A Bill of Rights as Secular Ethics", in Human Rights in the UK, Richard Gordon QC and Richard Wilmot-Smith QC, Clarendon, 1996.

"The 'Democratic' Entrenchment of a Bill of Rights", with John Wadham, Public Law, Winter 1993. 

"What Kind of Bill of Rights?" in Debating the Constitution, Polity Press, 1993.

Selected other publications

'New Labour and the Distribution of Power: constitutional reform, human rights and civil liberties', in Reassessing New Labour: Market, State and Society under Blair and Brown, edited by Patrick Diamond and Mike Kenny, Blackwell, 2011.

'A realignment of the mind - what way forward for progressive politics?', responding to David Marquand with Ed Miliband and others, Compass Annual Lecture, February 2011. , February 2011.

'Rights and Righteousness: Friends or Foes?', Chapter in Essays on Human Rights: In Honour of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley and Professor Kevin Boyle, Routledge, 2010

'Why has the Left become so illiberal?', OpenDemocracy, June 2010

'The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: sixty years on', Public Law, Spring 2009

'Human rights and speaking out', chapter published in the book , chapter published in the book A Time to Speak Out (Verso, 2008)

"Breaking New Ground: The JCHR and the role of Parliament in human rights compliance", (with Helen Wildbore), European Human Rights Law Review, June 2007.

'The Klug Report: Report on the Working Practices of the JCHR", Published in The Committee's Future Working Practices, Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-Third Report, Session 2005-06, July 2006

'The role of the victim in domestic and international human rights law', in Reconciling Rights, Legal Action Group, 2004

'Human Rights: A common standard for all peoples?' in Reclaiming Britishness, Foreign Policy Centre, 2002

Selected lectures and speeches

Demystifying the Human Rights Act: a discussion on the significance of the Human Rights Act and the challenges it is currently facing. Notes for a 'Question Time' style debate with Professor Vernon Bogdanor, organised by Rene Cassin, a human rights organisation, 28 March 2012, Doughty Street Chambers.

Keynote speech at symposium on 'Realising Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the UK', Law Society, 21 October 2011. 

Promoting and Protecting Human Rights in the UK, paper delivered at University of Westminster Law School on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2009

Paper delivered at the International Human Rights Funders Group conference, New York, July 2009   

Selected media work

'A weaker judiciary', Francesca Klug letter published in the Guardian, 4 April 2012, on the judiciary and the Human Rights Act.

'Our Courts In His Sights: Cameron's message to Europe on human rights suggests a troubling shift', Guardian, 26 January 2012. A longer version of the article appeared on the Guardian's Comment Is Free, available via this link.

'The Human Rights Act - A Bill of Rights by Any Other Name?', interview for LexisNexis, December 2011 Part 1Part 2

Letter published in the Times on the Human Rights Act, the relationship between domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights and parliamentary sovereignty, with Helen Wildbore, 24 October 2011.

Letter published in the Guardian on the Human Rights Act and proposals for a new bill of rights, 29 August 2011

Comment piece in the Guardian on proposals for a new bill of rights and prisoner voting, 12 February 2011

Column for the Guardian website called 'Blogging the Bill of Rights',  which was subsequently published as a booklet by Liberty (see above)

'Wrong-headed calls for a 'bill of rights'', article published on The Guardian's Comment Is Free, 7 October 2009. 

Letter to
 The Guardian on the Conservatives and the Human Rights Act, 6 October 2009.

'Civil liberties have yet to alleviate the world's misery', article published in The Guardian, 8 December 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  , 8 December 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.