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Legal aid is being cut. Courts meet in secret. The UK government is working to abolish the Human Rights Act. Our justice system is in crisis. 

Justice matters to every one of us. It defines our relationship with the state, rebalances discrepancies in power and protects our rights and civil liberties.

But successive governments have compromised and undermined the UK justice system. Key constitutional principles are being eroded.

Many people aren’t paying attention.

Welcome to openJustice where we inspire debate and mobilise support for positive changes in our justice system. We are supported by the human rights lawyers at Leigh Day.

The far right must stop talking about the death penalty in Europe

From Marine Le Pen to Paul Nuttall, the far right has resurrected the idea of the death penalty in Europe. But it’s wrong – even for the most heinous crimes.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The far right must stop talking about the death penalty in Europe

From Marine Le Pen to Paul Nuttall, the far right has resurrected the idea of the death penalty in Europe. But it’s wrong – even for the most heinous crimes.

When no good deed goes unpunished

Families in the UK that open their doors to child relatives fleeing the camps of Calais are being penalised by stringent rules on legal aid.

UK government will be held accountable for complicity in torture and rendition

As Trump swears to bring back torture, the UK Supreme Court has held that the UK government will be held accountable for its complicity in torture and rendition committed by foreign states.

Asylum seekers are left destitute and homeless due to a lack of legal aid

One of the least reported devastations caused by government legal aid cuts has been on asylum seekers. Vulnerable people seeking refuge in the UK are left destitute and homeless.

Justice - open to all, like the Ritz hotel

The government has committed to reviewing cuts to legal aid and the fight for justice and government accountability has just begun.

It is the prisons, not the prisoners, that are to blame for record number of deaths

There were a record number of deaths in prison in 2016. The problem lies not with the vulnerability of prisoners or lack of staff but with the deprivation that defines prison life.

What we can learn from the Supreme Court decision on Article 50

The Miller case teaches us about the British Constitution and exposes alarming ignorance from those at the top.

To understand women's rights we must look at gendered laws

Following the global march for women's rights on Saturday, we must look more closely at the subtle but profound ways in which inequality is perpetuated by the law.

Can technology save access to justice?

In the tsunami of austerity cuts, technology provides one of the few possible islands from which we can rebuild acceptable levels of assistance and, indeed, resistance.

Make justice great again

openJustice had its official launch party this week. Helena Kennedy talked about access to justice, justice post-Brexit and the future of human rights in the UK. Watch it here.

Let's talk about unity, not division

A recent government report on race and integration in the UK has focussed on the differences between us at a time when we must be looking at the ways in which we are, and could become more, united.

Legal aid cuts are a major human rights issue

Amnesty found that the recent sharp cuts to civil legal aid have hurt not only those people already in the most pain, but the integrity of the justice system itself. 

Jumping aboard the gravy train

While commercial law firms continue to declare annual profits amounting to hundreds of millions, cuts to legal aid mean many people are suffering. Why not redress this imbalance? 

Why human rights now matter more than ever

It’s Human Rights Day and, in these turbulent times, human rights are more important than ever.

Children in custody need protection, not cruelty and bullying

Recent HMIC report found "inexcusably poor practices" by police towards children in custody. A cultural shift is needed both within the police force and the local authorities who are failing to accommodate them. The Home Office must take action.

Brexit has killed the sovereignty of Parliament

As Britain's Supreme Court hears the evidence on whether Parliament must trigger Brexit, it's all over for Britain's old regime.

Slavery and access to justice

Today marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery but the uncomfortable truth is that modern slavery is rife. The British government could do much more to facilitate justice for victims of modern slavery.

Hungry, homeless and in need of a legal aid lawyer

Government plans to introduce a discriminatory test for legal aid were thwarted earlier this year. This is why that decision was right.

The British Government is covering up its assistance to torturers and killers worldwide

The UK government is complicit in the execution of political prisoners and protesters abroad and there are serious flaws in the government policy that is supposed to prevent this.

Trump, the judiciary and politics

As the UK media react in anger against the High Court’s involvement in Brexit, America prepares to wave goodbye to the broadly liberal politics upheld in the US Supreme Court.  

A conspiracy cooked up by ‘activist left-wing human rights’ lawyers?

Government and media have denied, dismissed and derided allegations of abuse by British soldiers in Iraq. Over 7 days we’ll interrogate a very British scandal. Day 1: Attack the lawyers.

Fast-tracking medical justice is problematic. Let’s prevent tragedies in the first place.

The way justice is served to families of children damaged during birth is changing but the UK government’s proposals may cut corners and address the consequences rather than the cause.

Crowdfunding and access to justice

Should members of the public make up the access to justice deficit?

The Media Monarchy: the press versus the 'people'

Theresa May may come to regret picking a fight with the law.

Does Britain still uphold the rule of law?

Our hard-won rule of law is being squandered in the name of austerity and a narrow view of national security.

Prisons: places of harm and dehabilitation

Liz Truss promises penal reform but it places profits over people and punishment over rehabilitation.

 

Justice and Britain's democratic crisis

Why oD-UK launches openJustice, focusing on the dismantling UK justice system.

The UK government cannot reconcile austerity measures with human rights

UK governments have claimed austerity measures are necessary while ignoring the disproportionate adverse effects on marginalized groups. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on economic and social rights.

Brexit and human rights: winter is coming

Given the toxic politics of Farage, Johnson, Le Pen and Trump, will human rights be enough to resist right-wing nationalism in the wake of Brexit?

Now more than ever the UK needs the compass of human rights

It is in uncertain times—like the aftermath of the Brexit vote—that we need human rights the most.

 

The UK government’s inversion of accountability

What to make of a government that increasingly excuses its actions from legal accountability while demanding more and more accountability from citizens? 

Mr Gove and the legal levy proposal

A levy of 10% on legal earnings above £150,000 would provide a major boost for access to justice. And Mr Gove may be interested.

Remembering Sarah Reed

Beaten by a Metropolitan police officer in 2012. Found dead in a prison cell in 2016. Sarah Reed, a black woman, mother, daughter, sister, whose smile could light up a room.

Race relations after 50 years

HIstory tells us that the prime minister's stated aim of ending discrimination is meaningless without the legislation and infrastructure to enforce it.

Human rights and the age of inequality

The human rights regime and movement are simply not equipped to challenge global inequalities.  A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Economic Inequality and Human Rights. EspañolFrançaisالعربية

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