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Chapter

Cover UK Politics

5. The legal system and human rights  

This chapter focuses on the legal system in the UK and looks at how the legal system and human rights relate to the political system. The chapter starts by defining both the legal system and human rights and shows how they are important in politics and in our democratic society and how they work in practice. These are closely connected issues, as the UK legal system is supposed to operate within human rights principles. The chapter introduces a series of theoretical concepts that aid to the understanding of the legal system. Central to this is the concept of the rule of law. The chapter presents some practical examples to show how various goals are realized. The first example given in the provision of legal aid to those who cannot afford their own legal advice. The second example relates to how policy makers attempt to deal with threats of terrorism. The third example is the key legal basis for the upholding of human rights via the Human Rights Act 1998. The chapter finishes with a debate on the political role of courts and looks at the implications of Brexit for the legal system and human rights.

Book

Cover UK Politics

Andrew Blick

UK Politics gives an introduction to this subject, providing the foundational understanding, critical perspectives, and historical knowledge needed to make sense of politics in the UK today. Part I looks at the way people are governed in the UK. This includes an analysis of the Cabinet and the Prime Minster, parliament, and the UK and human rights. Part 2 looks at how people participate in politics through examining the party system, elections, and voting. It also considers the issue of referendums. The third part is about how society affects UK politics. This part of the text examines communication and public opinion and considers identity, equality, and power. The final part is about the UK relates to the rest of the world. The key concepts here are devolution, local government, the nations and the union, and the outside world.