WE thought it fitting to launch the Faculty of Advocates Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee’s website today – Human Rights Day!
We hope that you will enjoy visiting our website and we would like to encourage all contributions and suggestions as how to make our website informative and accessible to everyone.
Today the Faculty of Advocates in conjunction with JUSTICE Scotland are celebrating Human Rights Day with two distinguished legal figures from either side of the border, Sir Steven Sedley QC and Lord Hamilton.
Lord Hamilton, the former Lord President, and Sir Stephen Sedley, QC, who served as a judge in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales for more than a decade, will examine “Freedom of Expression”. Sir Stephen will present a paper, and Lord Hamilton will respond, followed by a general question and answer and discussion session that is to be chaired by the Dean of Faculty.
In advance of this afternoon’s event – and our own celebrations of today – we thought it appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the history of Human Rights Day, as it serves to underline the importance of this date in our legal calendar.
Human Rights Day is celebrated across the world on 10 December every year. The date was chosen to honour the United Nations General Assembly‘s adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.
The formal establishment of Human Rights Day occurred at the 317th Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on 4 December 1950, when the General Assembly declared resolution 423(V), inviting all member states and any other interested organisations to celebrate the day as they saw fit.
On 10 December 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423(V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favour and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”, towards which individuals and societies should “strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance”.
Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it is incredible to think that it has inspired more than 60 human rights instruments, which together, now constitute an international standard of human rights.
Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasises the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights now holds the world record as the most translated document (except for the Bible).