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Human Rights and the End of Empire: Britain and the Genesis of the European Convention


ISBN13: 9780199267897
ISBN: 0199267898
Published: January 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2001)
Price: £67.00
Hardback edition out of print, ISBN13 9780198262893



This is a Print On Demand Title.
The publisher will print a copy to fulfill your order. Books can take between 1 to 3 weeks. Looseleaf titles between 1 to 2 weeks.

The European Convention on Human Rights, which came into force in 1953 after signature, in 1950, established the most effective system for the international protection of human rights which has yet come into existence anywhere in the world. Since the collapse of communism it has come to be extended to the countries of central and eastern Europe, and some seven hundred million people now, at least in principle, live under its protection. It remains far and away the most significant achievement of the Council of Europe, which was established in 1949, and was the first product of the postwar movement for European integration. It has now at last been incorporated into British domestic law.

Nothing remotely resembling the surrender of sovereignty required by accession to the Convention had ever previously been accepted by governments. There exists no published account which relates the signature and ratification of the Convention to the political history of the period, or which gives an account of the processes of negotiation which produced it.

This book, which is based on extensive use of archival material, therefore breaks entirely new ground. The British government, working through the Foreign Office, played a central role in the postwar human rights movement, first of all in the United Nations, and then in the Council of Europe; the context in which the negotiations took place was affected both by the cold war and by conflicts with the anti-colonial movement, as well as by serious conflicts within the British governmental machine.

The book tells the story of the Convention up to 1966, the date at which British finally accepted the right of individual petition and the jurisdiction of the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights. It explores in detail the significance of the Convention for Britain as a major colonial power in the declining years of Empire, and provides the first full account of the first cases brought under the Convention, which were initiated by Greece against Britain over the insurrection in Cyprus in the 1950s. It also provides the first account based on archival materials of the use of the Convention in the independence constitutions of colonial territories.

Subjects:
Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Contents:
NOTE ON THE PAPERBACK EDITION
PREFACE
ABBREVIATIONS
1. Human Rights, Fundamental Freedoms, and the World of the Common Law
2. The Mechanisms of Repression
3. The International Protection of Individual Rights Before 1939
4. The Ideological Response to War: Codes of Human Rights
5. Human Rights and the Structure of the Brave New World
6. The Burdens of Empire
7. The Foreign Office Establishes a Policy
8. Beckett's Bill and the Loss of the Initiative
9. Conflict Abroad and at Home
10. The Growing Disillusion
11. Britain and the Western Option
12. From the Brussels Treaty to the Council of Europe
13. A Convention on the Right Lines: The Rival Texts
14. The Conclusion of Negotiations and the Rearguard Action
15. The First Protocol
16. Ratification and its Consequences
17. Emergencies and Derogations
18. The First Cyprus Case
19. The Outcome of the Two Applications
20. Coming In, Rather Reluctantly, From the Cold
Bibliography
Index