Research Student: Wayne Ramwell
An “Entrenched” Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom?
Research Question: Examining whether the current protection of human rights in our uncodified constitution is adequate or, on the contrary, we should aim to ‘entrench’ them in our legal framework.
In this piece of research, I explore the question of whether there is a need to change our presently uncodified and non-entrenched paradigm vis-à-vis human rights and possibly adopt a more codified and entrenched model in order to strengthen the position of fundamental human rights in the United Kingdom. It assesses both the arguments in favour of a stronger model in the form of entrenchment or “constitutionalisation” and also those against such a proposal, and tries to reach an intermediate and balanced conclusion that serves to enhance our human rights paradigm beyond that of the status quo. Parenthetically, it is rather paradoxical that the United Kingdom does not have its own codified and entrenched Bill of Rights, but yet has contributed to, and indeed inspired quite significantly, the codification and entrenchment of Bills of Rights for a myriad of other nation-states and even at a regional level, for instance, the United States Bill of Rights and the regional European Convention on Human Rights respectively.
It is my contention that qualifications to the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty over time, through various “constitutional statutes” or pieces of legislation, for instance, those concerning the devolved legislatures, the adoption of the European Convention and, arguably most significantly, our European Union membership, have begun to make in-roads into or unmake the once organising principle of our constitution - id est the notion of Parliamentary sovereignty. Parliamentary sovereignty arguably neither reflects the prevailing modern consciousness nor the international Rule of Law, whereby all nation-states are bound by certain universal human rights, or a fortiori peremptory or jus cogens norms, irrespective of whether the customary international law principle of “consensualism” is adhered to or not.
Law Ph.D. Candidate & Teaching Assistant at the University of Leeds; Awarded Prestigious Research Training & Teaching Scholarship; Former Managing Director at Golden Moment Ltd & Author of ‘Easy Money’ (2008); Researcher & Representative at the Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SoS) Group in Ireland; Member of Liberty UK, JUSTICE UK, Amnesty International UK, the UK Constitutional Law Association (UKCLA), and the United Nations Association-UK (UNA-UK), inter alia; Aspiring Academic.
Law LL.B. (Hons) – The University of Manchester (2011-2014).
Law LL.M. (General) (Hons with Distinction) – The University of Manchester (2014-2015). December 2006 - June 2012
Golden Moment Ltd, Manchester Managing Director * A company shared with four close friends with whom I co-authored a book called 'Easy Money' (September 2008) aimed at teaching young people about the basic practicalities of money. *
Appearances on the BBC and Channel Manchester television to represent the book nationally. One appearance was with the renowned Peter Jones from 'Dragon's Den' where I pitched to him live on 'BBC Breakfast'. * Experiences facilitated in communicating effectively with public figures and clients, for instance, Tony Lloyd, the former MP for Manchester. He passed an Early Day Motion about 'Easy Money’ congratulating my colleagues and me on the “ingenuity and talent of the book”, and commended "the work of Golden Moment Ltd as a shining example of social entrepreneurship serving the wider community interest."
What makes me passionate about my subject?
Have an interest in liberal philosophies, such as the concepts of morality and justice. Have read the following books, amongst others, in order to develop this, namely: (1) ‘What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets’; (2) ‘Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?’; and (3) ‘Liberalism and the Limits of Justice’ by Professor Michael Sandel. Moreover, studying ‘Jurisprudence’ has spurred a keen interest in the role of the Government and/or state vis-à-vis its citizenry. To explore this further I studied, at Masters level, both ‘Legal Theory and Global Governance’ and ‘Human Rights Law’. Crucially, this passion feeds into my current PhD research project, which examines the overarching role of the state and other actors in upholding fundamental rights.
What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?
Aspiring academic and/or lecturer.