The HRLA’s Seminar Series – Article 5

May 19, 2015 | Young Lawyers

On Wednesday 13 May 2015 the HRLA Young Lawyers’ Committee organised the latest in our human rights student seminar series on Article 5 of the Convention, the right to liberty and security. This seminar was kindly hosted by University College London at the fabulous Marquee in the Main Quad.

The distinguished panel was comprised of Colm O’Cinneide, a Reader in Law at UCL, Aswini Weereratne QC of Doughty Street Chambers and Rory Dunlop of 39 Essex Chambers. The topics of discussion were particularly relevant given the outcome of the UK General Election, in which the Conservative Party has pledged to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a so-called British Bill of Rights.

The first speaker, Colm O’Cinneide, gave a general overview of Article 5 discussing its purpose and scope whilst drawing upon comparisons with other countries, and also alluding to some of the most controversial areas regarding lawful detention. The second speaker, Aswini Weereratne QC, then focussed on the particular challenges and recent cases arising from the detention of incapacitated people under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The final speaker, Rory Dunlop, discussed the difficulties of immigration detention, adding that the UK is the only country in the European Union to allow for indefinite immigration detention.

The lively discussion also covered many more of the most contentious cases of the past few years concerning Article 5, the availability of compensation following a violation, and what might be done in the future to provide further protection for the most vulnerable people.

The student seminar series will continue after the summer break when we will hold an event on Article 6 of the Convention. Further details will be published on the HRLA website at

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