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The HRA represents a new beginning for the UK. For the first time rights which we have taken for granted are written down and enforceable against the government and all public bodies in our own courts. For the first time we have a higher law - a Bill of Rights - whose principles will influence all other law and policy. And for the first time we have a common set of ethical values to which everyone in this godless age can subscribe.
Francesca Klug, joint winner of the 1998 Times/Justice award for an outstanding contribution to civil justice, tells the story of how the idea of rights has evolved from the Enlightenment to the present day. Controversially, she traces three "waves of rights to suggest that the modern idea of human rights is best understood as a synthesis of the values of liberty, community and mutuality.
She assesses how far these values are compatible with those of a New Labour government committed to a culture of duties as well as rights.