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The United Kingdom's Statutory Bill of RightsConstitutional and Comparative Perspectives$
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Roger Masterman and Ian Leigh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265376

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265376.001.0001

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A Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom? Lessons from Overseas

A Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom? Lessons from Overseas

(p.281) 12 A Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom? Lessons from Overseas
The United Kingdom's Statutory Bill of Rights

Alice Donald

British Academy

The right to participate in choosing or changing a constitution is becoming established in law and theory. The means of realising that right in the formation of Bills of Rights, and the consequences for democratic legitimacy, are matters of debate and experimentation. This chapter explores the processes used to develop Bills of Rights (or proposed Bills) in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and analyses key aspects of the design of those processes. It examines the context for creating a new UK Bill of Rights, including the work of the Commission on a Bill of Rights established in 2011. It reflects on the challenges facing the Commission in the light of experience overseas. It concludes that, on present evidence, the Commission is highly unlikely to achieve an outcome which might enjoy democratic legitimacy, in the sense of having been subject to inclusive and informed public deliberation.

Keywords:   Human Rights Act, Bill of Rights, constitutional processes, public participation, public engagement

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