Civil liberties is another name for the political freedoms that we must have available to us all if it is true to say of us that we live in a society that adheres to the principle of representative democratic government. Britain seemed invulnerable to tyranny. Yet since the 1990s, legislation has eliminated core rights and protections that took centuries to secure. This database attempts to demonstrate that erosion. Over the course of time, we will produce articles for distribution to establish this fact and highlight the trajectory of democracy based on those facts.
Scroll down to search for legislation, news articles and research papers.
(We have just started building this database, bear with us as we do so in the coming weeks.)
For dates of historical importance and landmark legislation from the signing of Magna Carta in 1215, through to the period of ‘enlightenment’ and the emergence of the principles of democracy from the Slave Trade Act of 1807 – up to 1980 CLICK HERE
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, allowed four days detention without trial (previously it was 24 hours).
Interception of Communications Act 1985, allowing any phone tapping.
Public Order Act 1986, passed in the context of widespread industrial disputes, particularly the Miners’ Strike, Part II limited public processions and demonstrations by requiring 6 days advance notice to be given to the police.
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, codified the many restrictions and formalities placed on trade union activity and the right to strike.
Terrorism Act 2000, extended the limit to 7 days detention without charge for terrorist suspects. It also allows terrorist organisations to be banned and increased stop and search powers.
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, allows the government full surveillance powers of all kinds of communication.
Civil Contingencies Act 2004, allows the government, for an “emergency”, to deploy armed forces anywhere in the country during peacetime.
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, created an offence of inciting religious hatred, an advanced notification scheme for protests up to 1 kilometre from Parliament.
Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, in response to the destruction of the NYC World Trade Center on 9/11, the government passed legislation allowing indefinite detention without trial for non-British nationals suspected of committing terrorist offences, but without enough evidence for an actual trial.
Terrorism Act 2006, following the bombings in London on the 7th of July, this legislation allows for people suspected of terrorist offences to be detained without charge for up to 28 days.
Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008 sought to extend the number of days detention without charge to 42 days and to allow the Home Secretary to require an inquest to be established without a jury in secret.
British Liberty Under Threat
Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal