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Public Law after the Human Rights Act

By: Tom Hickman
Media of Public Law after the Human Rights Act
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Published: 20-05-2010
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 360
ISBN: 9781841139692
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £42.99
Online price : £38.69
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Loren Epson

About Public Law after the Human Rights Act

It is remarkable that 10 years after the Human Rights Act came into effect, and with further reform possible, there are still no clear answers to basic questions about the relationship between the Human Rights Act, human rights principles and the common law. Such basic questions include: what is the Human Rights Act? What is the relationship between human rights principles and common law doctrines in public law? Do traditional public law principles need to be replaced? How has the Human Rights Act altered the constitutional relationship between the courts, government and Parliament in the UK?

Public Law After the Human Rights Act proposes answers to these questions. Unlike other books on the Human Rights Act, the book looks beyond the Human Rights Act itself to its effect on public law as a whole. The book articulates in novel ways the relationship between the Act and administrative and constitutional law. It suggests that the Human Rights Act has built on the common law constitution.

The discussion focuses on core topics in modern public law, including, the constitutional status of the Human Rights Act; the relationship between human rights and the common law; the Human Rights Act's effect on central doctrines of public law such as reasonableness, proportionality and process review; the structure of public law in the human rights era; derogation and emergencies; and the right of access to a court.

Winner of the Inner Temple Young Author Book Prize 2011.

Table Of Contents

1. The HRA and the Common law
2. Constitutional Theories and Constitutional Dialogue
3. Public law standards
4. Weight and deference
5. Proportionality
6. Reasonableness
7. Process review
8. The Structure of Public Law after the Human Rights Act
9. Emergencies, derogation and detention
10. The right to a court


“This book proposes answers to questions about the relationship between the Human Rights Act, human rights principles and the common law.” –  Chris Hemsworth, Social & Legal Studies Volume 20, No. 4

“Hickman...brings practical understanding to bear on his thoroughly researched, lucid, elegant, and sometimes witty analysis of the relevant academic literature and English and selected European cases, and of the brief but useful Australian ... Canadian and New Zealand examples he employs. illuminating, clear and engaging work based on extensive research [which] will be of particular benefit to English legislators, policy-makers, judges, academics and lawyers, as they work in the shifting (and sometimes colliding) territories of the common law, constitutionalism and human rights.
” –  Stephen James, The Law and Politics Book Review Volume 21, No.7, August 2011

“Hickman's book ... poses questions of importance, seeks to answer them, and analyses critically a number of the leading cases that have arisen since the 1998 Act came into effect.
Hickman's text is a valuable addition to the rich vein of scholarship about the impact of the 1998 Act
” –  Kris Gledhill, New Zealand Law Journal June 2011

“Tom Hickman has produced a thoughtful and provoking book which successfully blends practical insight with theoretical and doctrinal ... analysis. There is much in this book to engage with, to reflect on and - importantly - to enjoy.” –  Roger Masterman, Public Law July 2011

“[the] distinctive emphases repay close reading ... as [does] the originality, nuance and rigour of [the] arguments.
[the book] will be of interest to practitioners and scholars alike, as [it] artfully blend[s] constitutional theory with critical discussion of the cases.
” –  Evan Fox-Decent, University of Toronto Law Journal

“'…a welcome and important addition to this literature…The inquiry is pursued vigorously through close analysis of case law and the academic literature. Tom has not been afraid to challenge those of all persuasions. Judicial decisions are criticized where it is felt that the courts have not reached the best result in relation to a central issue under the HRA. So too academics, when Tom believes that their approach to a particular doctrinal or conceptual issue is wanting. There will doubtless be those who disagree with Tom's own reasoning. It is a testimony to this valuable book that it will stimulate further debate on the central themes that pervade the Human Rights Act and its impact on public law. The book will be of interest to academics and practitioners alike.'
From the foreword by Paul Craig, Professor of English Law, University of Oxford, April 2010

This book will at the very least stimulate further debate on the subject. It seems likely that it will also play an important part in informing it.

” –  Julia Marlow, New Law Journal August 2010

“The front cover of Public Law after the Human Rights Act is a picture of the new Supreme Court, and the book itself appears to be imbued with much of the spirit of the Court: a desire to make things more clear and transparent, not being afraid to tread a new path but unconvinced by arguments of the need for drastic measures. The author, Tom Hickman, is one of those rare beasts that one tends to find in the Supreme Court, a practitioner genuinely involved in some of the most important and controversial public law cases whilst also being a widely-published academic lawyer with a stellar reputation.
Hickman's book deserves to be widely read...every public lawyer will find something to chew over.
It is a measure of Hickman's achievement that anyone writing in almost every debated area of HRA-related public law will now have to engage with the arguments made in Public Law after the Human Rights Act. Some of the debates Hickman will win. Some he will (or should) lose. All of them will be enriched by this book and the public lawyers will be thankful that it has been written.

” –  C.J.S. Knight, The Cambridge Law Journal Volume 69, Part 3, November 2010

“Throughout, Hickman moves deftly between the roles of constitutional scholar and public law practitioner providing a work that will undoubtedly prove thought-provoking and highly useful to both.” –  Eric Metcalfe, Justice Journal 2010

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