When I heard that the 3rd annual Reblaw (short for ‘Rebellious Lawyering’) conference was happening at the University of Law’s Moorgate campus on Saturday and Sunday, 10th and 11th November, I took note. There are very few legal events exploring the juncture between social justice/ environmental campaigns and how lawyers can engage with them, so I jumped at the chance of purchasing one of the Sunday tickets for a tenner.

Arriving at the Moorgate campus at 10am on Sunday morning, the delegates were guided through the maze of corridors by the helpful Reblaw volunteers, mostly University of Law students. Speaking to a fellow delegate while waiting for the key note address, they told me that Saturday had been been an exhilarating experience, so I anticipated something special for the day.

The day was to consist of a keynote address, two optional talks and the Soapbox competition. The following is a summary of the content of each of those events.

Keynote Address

The Keynote speech, entitled ‘Fight for Rights in a Post-Brexit World’, was delivered by Corey Stoughton from Liberty , a civil rights campaign group. Her main contentions were that although Liberty had been neutral on Brexit, they were concerned about the ‘hidden minefield’ that lay ahead, such as the loss of important EU laws underpinning human rights and the constitutional shift of power from the Parliament to the Executive.

The Brexit deal is currently in a state of purgatory – ‘what’s the deal with the Deal?’. The government plans to take a ‘snapshot’ of EU law currently used in a domestic context and incorporate it into UK domestic law, for continuity – the ‘cut and paste’ procedure; over time unwanted laws would slowly be repealed. The one exception to this is the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which would not to be carried over into UK law.

The first problem is that equality rights in the UK are very fragile. The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) does not apply to private individuals or companies. Previously, domestic law could be disapplied if there was a conflict with EU law. Ms Stoughton gave some […]

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