On the 7th June 2015, Big Voice London hosted its first #BVLlawchat on Twitter. We took the opportunity to engage our students and supporters in the controversial and topical subject of human rights law reform and we were not disappointed by the passionate responses we received.
We kicked off the discussion at 7pm with the following question:
One of our first responses came from Hugh Southey QC a Barrister from Matrix Chambers, who argued that the proposed reforms would not lead to improvements:
Sean Jones, a Barrister at 11 King's Bench Walk expressed the following view on the issue:
Ishan Kolhatkar, a BPTC lecturer at BPP Law School raised the concern that the move towards reform is motivated by a misguided public perception of human rights:
Siobhan Tatum, a BPTC student responded with similar worries:
With this in mind, the discussion turned to ways to resolve difficulties in the public perception of human rights, with many, including Amy Wills one of our Group Leaders, arguing for an increase in education on the subject:
The idea of educating the public on human rights, sparked a larger discussion on teaching young people about law, a subject which is very important to Big Voice London's cause! Mathias Cheung, a BPTC student and winner of the Big Voice London Mooting Competition argued that young people should be educated on the importance of human rights, whilst Julie Tipping, a lecturer in Social Welfare Law, expressed the view that kids already know enough. We're not sure we agree with that one!
Ian McDonald, previously a volunteer with BVL, expressed this passionate view on the need for Human Rights law reform:
Despite the significant number of participants expressing views against future reform, one of our current Group Leaders, Rebecca Morgan jumped in to defend the opposing view:
Which was followed shortly after by a comment from BPTC student Samuel McCann with a similar view that human rights must seek to strike more of a balance between different individuals:
Another of BVL's previous volunteers, Stephen Pinnington, argued that it may not be an issue with the legislation itself, but with the way the court's have sought to interpret them:
A similar view was shared by Mathias, who also believes that there is nothing inherently wrong with the current framework:
Indeed, the overwhelming response seemed to be neatly tied up in one of our previous Board Members, Alex Cisneros:
Outlined above are just some of the responses we received, if you would like to see more, go directly to #BVLlawchat on Twitter.
In addition, on a final note, shortly after we finished for the evening, Rebecca Morgan requested the following:
I'm happy to announce Rebecca that we will be hosting another #BVLlawchat on Sunday 12th July between 7pm-8pm:
We look forward to seeing you all there, this time for a discussion on the following: