How should the law deal with the problem of hate speech and other displays of intolerance?


1. Can it be said that the European Court of Human Rights and the European
Committee for the Prevention of Torture (the CPT) have a relationship that is
mutually-beneficial insofar as each standard-setting organ has been aware of the
other’s expectations and in turn has built upon these in its own task of
discharging its treaty mandate?

2. ‘One of the most powerful themes in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights is the protection against arbitrary application of the law.’ Explain and critically assess the nature and scope of this protection.

3. Is this truly now the ‘age of subsidiarity’ in the European Court of Human Rights?

4. ‘Application of the test of proportionality by the European Court of Human Rights is a bit like a tap – the Court can regulate its flow depending upon specific circumstances. This is what lies at the heart of external criticisms that the Court has become ‘too big for its boots’, especially in respect of areas of policy that fall within the scope of Article 8.’Discuss.

5. Explain what is meant by ‘positive obligations’, and critically assess their development and impact in advancing the protection of human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.


6. Answer ONE of the following questions based upon domestic law and practice concerning human rights, drawing upon (where relevant) any European standards to help your analysis of the topic.

a. Is the way that Scotland treats its most vulnerable children and young people who are placed in detention a hidden scandal that society simply tolerates? if so, is this an area that the legal system and human rights lawyers in particular can remedy?

b. How should the law deal with the problem of hate speech and other displays of intolerance?

c. Post-Brexit, how can the UK best protect its borders in a human rights-compliant manner?

d. ‘The recent suggestion from the UK Minister of Justice and others that reform of the Human Rights Act should extend to requiring the courts to give more prominence to freedom of expression in any case calling for balancing free speech with Article 8 rights. This is simply more of the same from right-of-centre Governments – an unwillingness to recognise that protection for human dignity in relation to private life is as important an interest as is democracy as evidenced by systemic undermining of respect for private life through domestic law and policy.’ Discuss. [Group 4]
e. Discuss the contention that female detainees in this country area ‘forgotten category’ of prisoner. How can human rights standard-setting address the specific needs of this group?

7. ‘The experience of the Human Rights Act – two decades on – has shown that the domestic judiciary has not abused the additional authority entrusted to it, despite what the UK Government considers. Indeed, the judiciary has proved remarkably restrained.’ Do you agree?