Gender-Auditing the Human Rights Act: Women’s Human Rights and the Privatisation of Family Justice
The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) has been the subject of intense political debate, with right-wing antagonism towards the Act building over the last decade. However, there are also important critiques of both this legislation in particular and ‘rights’ discourse more generally from a feminist perspective, which have been largely absent from the mainstream debates. Examining the case law of the first 20 years of the HRA, Nicola will analyse the ways in which the Act has been useful for advancing the rights of women as well as its limitations. Her paper focuses on one aspect of that: the public/private divide in the Act. She will critically assess the extent to which the HRA has been able to effectively protect women’s human rights, which are disproportionately at risk from the actions of either private corporations or our own family members. This has two strands. First are the well-known limitations of the scope of ‘public authority’ in section 6, particularly in the context of contracted-out and privatised services. Second, is the limited scope of the HRA to protect against abuses within the family. The privatisation of family justice as a result of the combined effects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and the Children and Families Act 2014, has brought these limitations into stark view.
- Event type
Lecture / Talk / Discussion