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About this Lecture
In this module, we introduce the question that we will be answering over the course of the next few modules, focusing in particular on: (i) the concept of the ‘hook’ of a question; (ii) the particular use of language in the question – i.e. the use of the passive voice (“have been eroded”), the use of metaphor (“eroded”); and (iii) the technical vocabulary in the question – i.e. what (if anything) is the difference between “civil liberties” and “human rights”?
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.
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).
Cite this Lecture
Williams, M. (2020, December 30). Civil Liberties and Human Rights - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-civil-liberties-and-human-rights/introduction-5af87837-feee-4c92-b864-3161302809a1
Williams, M. "Civil Liberties and Human Rights – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Dec 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-civil-liberties-and-human-rights/introduction-5af87837-feee-4c92-b864-3161302809a1