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Civil Liberties and Human Rights

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Matthew Williams (University of Oxford) explores the development of civil liberties and human rights protection in the UK through the question ‘Civil liberties and human rights have been eroded in recent years. Discuss.’ In the first module, we introduce the question itself and think about some of the things to think about when answering any essay question of this kind. In the second module, we think about the history of rights protection in the UK from Magna Carta onwards, before turning in the third and fourth modules to four substantive areas of law in which human rights and civil liberties have arguably been ‘eroded’ – national security, criminal justice, the right to protest, and data protection. In the fifth module, we think about how procedural changes have impacted human rights and civil liberties protections, in particular some of the procedures laid out by the Human Rights Act (1998), before turning in the sixth and final module to consider the potential impact of Brexit on human rights and civil liberties protection in the UK.

About the Lecturer

Dr Matthew Williams is Access and Career Development Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. His research focuses on the the language of politics, especially how the language of legislation has changed over the previous century. His recent publications include How Language Works in Politics: The Impact of Vague Legislation on Policy (2018).