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

Paperback | January 29, 2004

byA. W Brian Simpson

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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 conme into existence anywhere in the world. Since the collapse of communism it has come to beextended 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 thepostwar 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 whichrelates 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; thecontext 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 acceptedthe 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 theConvention, 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.

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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 conme into existence anywhere in the world. Since the collapse of communism it has come to beextended to the countries of central and easte...

A. W. Brian Simpson is Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:1184 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 2.13 inPublished:January 29, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199267898

ISBN - 13:9780199267897

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Table of Contents

Note on the Paperback EditionPrefaceAbbreviations1. Human Rights, Fundamental Freedoms, and the World of the Common Law2. The Mechanisms of Repression3. The International Protection of Individual Rights Before 19394. The Ideological Response to War: Codes of Human Rights5. Human Rights and the Structure of the Brave New World6. The Burdens of Empire7. The Foreign Office Establishes a Policy8. Beckett's Bill and the Loss of the Initiative9. Conflict Abroad and at Home10. The Growing Disillusion11. Britain and the Western Option12. From the Brussels Treaty to the Council of Europe13. A Convention on the Right Lines: The Rival Texts14. The Conclusion of Negotiations and the Rearguard Action15. The First Protocol16. Ratification and its Consequences17. Emergencies and Derogations18. The First Cyprus Case19. The Outcome of the Two Applications20. Coming In, Rather Reluctantly, From the ColdBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`a very well written book, based on meticulous scholarship, with a convincing argument, and on a theme of great interest and importance, especially since September 11th.'Professor Bernard Porter, TLS