Julia Lowis contributes to Parliaments and Human Rights : Redressing the democratic deficit, by Hart Publishing 2015

06 July 2015

Julia Lowis has contributed to Parliaments and Human Rights : Redressing the democratic deficit, a book by Hart Publishing 2015

Background to the book:
In many countries today there is a growing and genuinely held concern that the institutional arrangements for the protection of human rights suffer from a 'democratic deficit'. Yet at the same time there appears to be a new consensus that human rights require legal protection and that all branches of the state have a shared responsibility for upholding and realising those legally protected rights. This volume of essays tries to understand this paradox by considering how parliaments have sought to discharge their responsibility to protect human rights. Contributors seek to take stock of the extent to which national and sub-national parliaments have developed legislative review for human rights compatibility and the effect of international initiatives to increase the role of parliaments in relation to human rights. They also consider the relationship between legislative review and judicial review for human rights compatibility, and whether courts could do more to incentivise better democratic deliberation about human rights. Enhancing the role of parliaments in the protection and realisation of human rights emerges as an idea whose time has come, but the volume makes clear that there is a great deal more to do in all parliaments to develop the institutional structures, processes and mechanisms necessary to put human rights at the centre of their function of making law and holding the government to account. The sense of democratic deficit is unlikely to dissipate unless parliaments empower themselves by exercising the considerable powers and responsibilities they already have to interpret and apply human rights law, and courts in turn pay closer attention to that reasoned consideration.

Before joining Chambers, Julia spent time working in the Department for Legal Affairs and Human Rights at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where she gained considerable expertise concerning the implementation of the ECHR and where she co-authored the chapter entitled The work of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which looks at the role of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in ensuring Member States' compliance with the ECHR.

If you would like to get in touch with Julia, please contact her at julialowis@3harecourt.com.