Osborn: The common law, the Convention, and the right to an oral hearing

10 Oct

Public Law for Everyone

wrote recently about the what might happen if—as is an increasingly less-fanciful prospect—human rights law in the UK were to be fundamentally altered through repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and perhaps even withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights. In that piece, I suggested that while such changes would be far from insignificant, their importance ought not to be overestimated. This is so, I argued, because—with or without the HRA/ECHR regime—the doctrine of common-law constitutional rights would remain. Against that background, yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Osborn v Parole Board [2013] UKSC 61 is of considerable interest.

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